" Dave" Lame Duck

When you're feeling "fowl", this dish may be just what you need. Served with specially seasoned tortillas, it's a unique take on a delicious duck dish. (Say that five times fast!)

You will need:

  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 oz. ginger root, sliced 1/8" thick
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1 four- to five-pound duck
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 jar hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted chopped peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 package fresh flour tortillas
  • 1 egg
  • 1 very small pair of crutches


    1. Trim duck of excess fat, then rinse inside and out with cold water, massaging and loosening the skin as you do so.

    2. (This next step can be omitted if desired. However, if followed, the result is an exceptionally crisp skin.) Starting with the front of the neck, carefully pierce the skin of the duck, inserting the needle of the ball pump into the area between the skin and the layer of fat just beneath the skin. Pump until the skin puffs and inflates over the breasts and hopefully down into the thighs and legs. Repeat this until most of the skin has been inflated and thus separated from the fat layer. Note: The skin need not remain inflated.

    3. In a pot large enough to lay the duck in, combine the water, half of the ginger, soy, vinegar, molasses, and star anise. Bring to a rapid boil. Place the duck on its side in the boiling mixture for 2 minutes, then turn over and repeat on the other side. Remove from the pot and blot dry with paper towels

    4. Combine half of the scallions, kosher salt, five-spice, and the remaining ginger in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse 2 or 3 times. Rub duck inside and out with the ginger-scallion mixture. Place on a rack in the refrigerator and refrigerate, uncovered, at least 20 minutes and up to 12 hours. Preheat oven to 400F.

    5. Fill a roasting pan with an inch of water (the water keeps the grease from smoking as it hits the hot pan). Place the duck breast-side-up on a rack over the pan and roast for 20 minutes, turning the duck over after 10 minutes.

    6. Remove from oven and pierce the skin all over with the tines of a fork. (This causes the fat to cook out.) Reduce heat to 325F and continue roasting breast-side-up until the leg meat juices run clear when pierced, about 90 minutes.

    7. Combine the hoisin sauce, peanuts, and lime juice and set aside. Brush tortillas with beaten egg and sprinkle some of the remaining scallions over the top. Pile the prepared tortillas, place in a covered steamer and steam for approximately four minutes, remove tortillas and serve alongside the duck and hoisin sauce.

    8. After dinner, convene the Cabinet; have them do the dishes and then stick them in your cabinet.

    Serves 4

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