Sunday, April 28, 2013

Duck Enchiladas

I have had duck enchiladas a few times at Rosa Mexicana restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles, and I had a craving to make my own version.

6 Duck Breasts, with skin on (I found free range organic duck at Bristol Farms).
Salt and Pepper (I use a Chardonnay Smoked Sea Salt - but use a good quality salt if you have it).

Rinse and pat dry the duck breasts.  Score the skin about 3 - 4 times per breast.  Liberally season with the salt and pepper.  Heat a non-stick skillet and place the breasts skin side down.  The fat will render from the skin.  Leave them skin side down until mostly cooked.  If you want to speed up the cooking time, place a lid over the breasts for a couple of minutes.  Turn the breasts over, cook for about 30 seconds, then remove to a cutting board to rest.  Drain about half the fat from the pan into a bowl to use later.

The Sauce:

I created this sauce by looking at some recipes then changing it into my own.

8 Plum or Vine Ripe Tomatoes, cored and seeded and diced
2 White Onions, peeled and diced
2 Red Jalapeno Peppers, seeded and minced
2 Green Tomatillos, slightly roasted*
2 Chipotles with Adobo Sauce, minced
1/2 cup Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, ground
2 dried Dates, pitted and chopped
1 Whole Roasted Garlic Head, just the pulp squeezed out (see Roasted Garlic in a previous post)
Salt and Pepper
Red Wine Vinegar
1 Cup Fresh Cilantro to finish, chopped
1 Fresh Lime, Juiced
Olive Oil

*To roast the tomatillos, take a square of aluminum foil and spray with olive oil.  Place the tomatillos in the foil and wrap tight.  Place in a 350 degree oven until slightly soft, about 15 minutes.  Then add to the sauce.

Heat a frying pan and add about 1 - 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the onions and garlic and cook until sweated.  Add the tomatoes, jalapeno, chipotles, about 2-3 tablespoons of the Adobo sauce and the dates.  Add about 1/2 cup water and place a lid on, stirring occasionally.  The tomatoes and onions should be soft and the sauce not too runny or too thick.  Place in a bowl and emulsify or blend in a blender.  Return to the heat.  Add the pumpkin seeds and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Add drizzle of the wine vinegar.  Finish with the cilantro and lime juice.

Refried Black Beans:

Using the rendered duck fat left in the pan, drain and rinse 2 large cans of black beans (I use organic when available).  Emulsify or blend until half blended.  Heat the duck fat and add the beans.  Stir to incorporate in the duck fat.  Add about 2-3 tablespoons of the Adobo sauce.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble Enchiladas:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Remove duck breasts from skin and slice into thin strips
Enchilada Sauce
1 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (I use an aged White Canadian Cheddar)
8 Corn Tortillas - heated through
1/2 Cup Fresco Ranchero Cheese crumbled for the top

Add about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce to the sliced duck and mix together.  Portion into the warm tortillas and roll.  Spoon about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce into a casserole dish (I spray the bottom first with an olive oil spray).  Place the enchiladas seam side down in the dish.  Spoon most of the sauce over the top, reserving about 1/2 a cup.  Sprinkle the top with the cheddar cheese and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 - 30 minutes until the cheese is bubbling.  Remove and let rest about 5-10 minutes.  Serve with the remaining sauce and sprinkle the top with the fresca cheese.  Serve with the refried black beans.

For an additional wow, take the skin from the breasts after the meat is removed and cook in a dry non stick pan until the remaining fat is rendered and the skin becomes crunchy.  These "cracklings" can be crumbled and sprinkled on top of the enchiladas - waste nothing. 

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