Scaled Up: Fancy Duck Taco Night

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I decided to scale up a casual taco dinner tonight for a little group of people from my high school. We talked for hours, and munched on fancy duck tacos with root veg, duck chiccharones, homemade tortillas, thai rice cakes, sugar bruleed limes, and a condiment I invented that I’m going to call cruzchi.

The Duck

  • 2 ducks – cleaned, 3/4 of the skin removed and reserved
  • 2 large oranges, peeled and cut into eights
  • 8 turnips , cleaned, peeled, halved
  • 4 red beets, cleaned, peeled, halved
  • 5 dry chiles de arbol
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 TB allspice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 red spring onions
  • 1 bottle real-sugar cola


  • Cut ducks into breasts, legs, wings
  • Make broth from 2 duck carcasses and all of the vegetable trimmings
  • Put oil and seasonings in the bottom of a large pot, cook over medium heat for 2 minutes
  • Add duck pieces – wings, then legs, then breasts, into pan
  • Add turnips, beets and red onions on top
  • Cook until bottom pieces are well-seared
  • Add broth, coke and oranges
  • Bring to a boil
  • Reduce to simmer, and cook for 4 hours
  • Allow to cool
  • Remove large pieces of vegetable and meat
  • Reduce the liquid to 1-2″
  • remove the bones, chiles, cinnamon
  • Shred the duck meat and return it to the broth
  • Add salt to taste

The tortillas

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup oil


  • whisk flour with salt and baking powder
  • add water and oil and knead together for 1-3 minutes until well-formed
  • Pull into 16 equal pieces, roll into balls and flatten with palms
  • Cover with a towel and leave for 15 minutes
  • Using a well-floured board, roll the pieces out
  • Grill 1 minute on each side
  • Keep them in a sealed container or bag until read y to serve

Rice Cakes

  • T2 cups glutinous rice
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • pinch of salt
  • oil for frying


  • Put water and rice in a pot and allow to sit for about an hour
  • Put on the stove and heat until boiled, then cover and turn down the heat, allow it to sit for 10 minutes
  • When ready, form rice cakes as soon as possible, while the rice is still hot
  • Dry the rice cakes in the oven at 200 F for 2-3 hours on each side
  • Fry the rice cakes for 2-3 minutes on each side in vegetable oil

Latin Kimchi (Cruzchi?)

  • 8 red onions
  • 5 radishes
  • 4 TB fermented shrimp
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 key limes, sliced thinly
  • 2 TB minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup korean chile flakes
  • 2 TB sugar
  • kosher salt


  • Thinly slice the red onion and radishes
  • Cover vegetables in kosher salt, place in a colander, and allow to sit for 2 hours, until onion is wilted
  • Wash the vegetables in water
  • Make a paste of the fermented shrimp, sugar, garlic, orange juice, lime juice, and chile flakes
  • In a jar (or two) add the onions, then the paste, then onions, then paste, until the jar is full
  • Top the jar with a few slices of lime, and add water until the vegetables are submerged
  • Place the tightly closed jar in the cabinet for 24-48 hours, then put in the fridge

For serving:

  • Oven-roast the duck skin removed from the ducks at 350 F for 2-4 hours or until crunchy
  • Use a torch to brulee thinly sliced lime dusted with sugar
  • Serve the shredded duck next to the turnips, with chiccharones, bruleed limes, cruzchi, tortillas and rice cakes. I also provided lettuce for wraps.
  • Mmmm. Tacos.

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