Categorized |Bits and Bites, Chicken

The Ultimate Island Curry Duck.

trinidad curry duck recipe 11Yup! there’s a new addition to the “ultimate” family [ Ultimate Curry Chicken | Ultimate Stew Chicken | Ultimate Curry Goat ]. But I must take a moment to say special thanks for all the wonderful emails, Facebook messages and comments I received yesterday, for my birthday (real love shown). Curry duck wasn’t something we had too often at home when we were growing up on the islands. However I do remember whenever my mom’s aunt would make this with dhalpourie and curry potatoes she would always call me to come over to enjoy a plate. Well she didn’t really call me (no phones back in those days), but she would yell out her kitchen window for me to come over. Golden days!

* Please bear in mind that everyone prepares this a bit different depending on where on the islands you go, so your recipe may be a bit different. However, you’ll be very pleased with the results you get from the recipe below.

You’ll need…

6-7 lbs of Duck (trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces)
1 lime or lemon
1 medium tomato – sliced
1 onion – sliced
1 hot pepper (habanero or scotch bonnet) – sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground geera (cumin)
1/2 teaspoon amchar masala
3/4 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon green seasoning mix
4 cloves garlic – crushed
dash black pepper
4 shado beni leaves
2 cups water

* if you’re concerned about the heat form the pepper, don’t add any of the seeds.

* if you can’t get shado beni, use about 6 tablespoons of cilantro (chopped)

For cooking the curry…

* My choice for curry powder has always been the “Raja Jahan Special Madras Curry” which you can easily get at any Caribbean food store if you live outside Trinidad and Tobago or online at Amazon.com.

2-3 tablespoon curry powder (depends how strong you like your curry)
3 tablespoon oil
1/4 onion (sliced thin)
1/4 cup water

For this recipe you need (if you live outside the islands) to source a Caribbean style duck and those are readily available at most Caribbean specialty stores in north America and the UK. In the past I used the normal ducks you find in the frozen section at the major grocery stores here in North America, but I find that though they taste great, it’s really not the same. Additionally, when I go to the Caribbean markets, I ask them if they can cut the duck into pieces for me. Since the duck bones can be very hard and brittle. If you try cutting it up at home you risk 2 things. 1. You can do some serious damage to your knife and 2. you may find that you won’t get a clean cut and you be left with jagged bones and bone fragments that can cause some problems when eating. They (the Caribbean markets) usually have a band saw they use, that cuts evenly and clean through. They also roast the outside of the duck (place briefly over an open flame) to remove any tiny feathers the plucking process didn’t remove (some claim that this process also adds a certain flavour to the dish).

Now that we have our duck cut into 1-2 inch pieces, place in a large bowl and squeeze the lime or lemon over it. Then pour some water (not mentioned in the ingredients list) and wash the meat. This is where I usually remove all the fat and skin that I can (some people love the skin, but that’s just not my thing). Rinse with clean water and drain. Then season the meat with everything in the ingredients list mentioned above, except the 2 cups of water (not the “for cooking the curry”). For best results I see my mom marinate this overnight in the fridge, however if you’re in a rush 1-2 hours should suffice

trinidad curry duck

Since this is such a rich curry dish I prefer to cook this outdoors on the side burner of my BBQ. In a heavy pot (one with a lid) heat the oil on high heat. Then add the curry powder to a small bowl and add the 1/4 cup of water to make a runny paste. The oil should be smoking by now so go ahead and add the 1/4 sliced onion and stir. Followed by the curry mixture we just made. Turn down the heat and allow this to cook for about 5 minutes or so, or until it comes to a thick paste and starts sticking to the bottom of the pot.

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Turn the heat back up to a medium/high and start adding the seasoned duck to the pot. Be sure to stir around so everything gets incorporated with the curry. Then bring to a boil, turn back down the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and allow to cook for about 35 minutes. it will spring up it’s own natural juices.

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After about 35 minutes, it’s time to burn off all the liquid that formed, so turn up the heat. Pay close attention and stir often to avoid burning/sticking. When all the liquid is gone, add the 2 cups of water and bring back up to a boil.. then turn back down to a gentle simmer and cover. Allow this to cook for another 35 minutes or so or until the meat is tender. The sauce should be thick by now as well. If you find that it’s runny, turn up the heat (providing it’s tender) and get it to the right thickness you want. Also check for salt at this point, as you will have a different tolerance for salt than I do.

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Here’s the finished dish with “buss up shut” roti and curry potatoes. Be sure to leave me your comments below and do let me know if you’d like the recipe for the buss up shut and/or curry potato (BTW it’s also posted on the site)

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25 Responses to “The Ultimate Island Curry Duck.”

  1. Sharon-Ann O says:

    I was researching Jambalaya when I came across this recipe. Go figure, anyway, of course this is what I want to cook instead. My only problem is finding the Muscovy duck but I’m not discouraged. Please continue your step by step method of instruction because not all cooks are created equal. I still learn so much from you and these steps even though I’ve been cooking for so many years. I never noticed the difference between the curries (Madras vs regular) until you pointed it out. Keep those recipes coming and those of us out there drooling. Thank you.

  2. Joanne says:

    Chris, I am an excellent cook also. I have lived in Trinidad and also in Tobago and my mother is Vincentian but I have to say that the plate you put out does look very appetizing.

  3. shanti says:

    try putting some coconut milk in this dish……..checking out your recipe for paratha

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