Braised duck, also commonly called braised duck legs (as legs are most commonly braised part of a duck) is a duck-meat based dish prepared through the method of braising. Braising, or pot roasting, is a popular French cooking method which involves effective use of both dry and moist heat to cook vegetables, meats, etc. Duck prepared via braising is a very popular dish, especially in Asian and European cuisines, because of its flavor. Duck meat is considered to be one of the most flavorsome meats and braising actually adds more taste to its.
The exact origin of the dish is largely unknown and the little details that are shared are mostly of questionable accuracy. The preparation has evolved in various ways over the years and today, it is prepared with a range of ingredients, each specific to a single recipe.
Braised duck is a celebrated preparation in Asian cuisine, especially in China where it is almost always served on special occasions and during celebrations.
Ingredients Used in Preparation of Braised Duck Recipe
In its most basic and traditional form, braised duck is made with duck, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. No other ingredients are added, making the dish a quick and easy preparation. But as there is no single recipe to make the duck, there is no fixed list of ingredients. Each recipe calls for the use of varied herbs, spices, toppings, vegetables, seasoning agents, etc. Sometimes, other meats are added to give the dish more flavor. Hard-boiled eggs are also a common addition (although these are seldom mixed with the dish and are mostly garnishing).
Braised duck legs with shallots and parsnips, a popular European dish, adds vegetables to the basic recipe and the French delicacy Canard au Vin is braised duck with wine. Mushrooms are another popular addition, closely followed by tomatoes.
How to Braise Duck?
Braising a duck is a fairly easy process, despite all the mystery and awe surrounding the dish. It takes about 2-2 1/2 hours to make braised duck when prepared using the traditional ingredients. The duck is cleaned and seasoned and then placed in a large pan with garlic and thyme. The pan is covered and the duck is braised on one side over low heat for about 1 hour and then turned so that the other side can be braised. Once the duck is browned, it is cut into equal halves and then cooked in its own fat for about 5 to 10 minutes till the skin is dark and crisp.
Additional ingredients, if being used, are prepared as required beforehand (cut, chopped, diced, cubed) and added to the large pan with the thyme and garlic. Herbs and spices are also added at this point.