Duck Breast and Pineapple (Duck a l’ananas)- Vit Nau Thom

Vietnamese food

Serve 2-4
2 Duck breasts with skin (about 6 oz each)
Salt, ground black pepper
2 Tbs fresh ginger, grated
2 shallot, finely minced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
6 Tbs soy sauce
1-2 small red Thai chili, fresh or dried
2 Tbs sugar
1 pineapple, skinned, cored, cut 1/2 into bite-size pieces,  then chop some  to make 1/4 cup juice
1 Tbs honey or sugar
1 Tbs rum (optional)
A few sprigs of cilantro for garnish

4 cups cooked rice ( 2 cups uncooked rice) and simple steamed or stir-fried green to serve

  1. Season duck breast with salt and pepper.  Place the breast skin side down in a cold saute pan over medium heat to render the fat, no oil needed.  Cook about 12-15 minutes until deep golden brown and crisp. Move the duck breasts to the side.  Remove the fat from the pan except 2 Tbs left (save the fat for later use).  Raise the heat to medium high heat. Add shallot, garlic, ginger, whole red peppers and stir until fragrant.  Add soy sauce, sugar, and pineapple juice. Turn the duck breast over, skin side up.  Cook 5-10 more minutes depending on the thickness of the duck breast and your preferences for how cooked the meat should be. (Thicker breasts will need longer cooking time.) Remove from heat, and let the breast rest in the sauce.
  2. Heat 1 Tbs duck fat in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add pineapple chunk with 1 Tbs honey or sugar, rum (optional), and salt slightly. Stir and turn occasionally until pineapple turns golden brown.  Transfer pineapple to a plate.  Return the sauce from duck breast back to the pineapple pan and reduce to syrupy sauce.  Return the pineapple pieces and duck breast to the sauce, toss  to coat well.
  3. Thinly slice the breast about 1/4-in thick diagonally. Spoon pineapple and sauce on and around the breast and rice.  Garnish with cilantro or green onion and ground black pepper.
  4. Serve with cooked rice and simple steamed or stir-fried green. 
Note:
   I did not like too red meat inside so I cook the breast longer than average timing of other guides.
   The skin will turn golden real quick but will become crispy when more fat accumulate, usually 15 minutes on the skin side on medium heat will be long enough.
   Thaw frozen ducks in the fridge at least two days.
   You can braise the duck with pineapple as with orange in previous post just replace orange juice with pineapple juice or duck stock and add caramelized pineapple slices at the last 5-10 minutes cooking.

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