Food to go with beer… Crumbed duck shanks

As promised here is the recipe for crumbed duck shanks with chilli jam.

What they call a duck shank is actually the first joint of the wing. It’s still quite big and meaty and quite frankly, bloody delicious. If you get your duck from an old school farmer or butcher just explain to them what it is you need. Quite often these are down graded to dog food or stock bones so they aren’t normally expensive, but that is not at all related to taste, only ignorance and food fashion. Two of my most favourite things in the world and topics to discuss another day I’m sure. I don’t get side-tracked much at all.

The chilli jam is inspired by a chef I worked with when I was head chef at a Thai restaurant. His name is Jim and he was a very nice guy. He had a great way with Thai flavours, too. Thanks Jim


8 red capsicum, deseed and dice

1 red onion, diced

1kg cherry tomatoes, any ripe tomato will do if you can’t get hold of cherries

6 long red chilli, deseed and dice

1 bunch each of mint, coriander and thai basil, leaves picked

6 cloves garlic, crushed

1 knob ginger, peeled and grated

3/4 cup fish sauce

2 cups light palm sugar

Caramelise the capsicum and onion over a med-high heat. Add everything except fish sauce and palm sugar, reduce heat to med-low and simmer for1-1.5 hours, stirring regularily to avoid burnage and fossilising the chilli jam to the bottom of your pot. Add fish sauce and sugar and simmer for another 15 minutes. Blitz.

This will last for at least a few weeks in the fridge. It will probably last for a lot less than that if you leave it sitting on your window sill.

CRUMBED DUCK SHANKS (for 2-3 people. 4 tops)

1kg duck shanks/wings

enough chicken stock to cover (the stuff I told you to keep in your freezer)

¼ cup light soy sauce

¼ shao xing chinese chooking wine if you have some

4 star anise

1 cinnamon quill

plain flour, eggwash and bread crumbs aka. “the crumbing station”

vegetables oil for deep frying

Poach the duck shanks in the chicken stock with the soy sauce, wine and spices for 30-40 minutes or until tender. Remove from stock and allow to cool a little so you don’t burn your fingees when you crumb them. Put the stock in the fridge for tomorrow because you’ll prolly want to cook more duck shanks then. Once they’ve cooled enough to handle, crumb those suckers! Through the flour, then eggwash and then breadcrumbs. If you want the ultimate crunch experience run them back through the eggwash and crumbs a second time. Crazy, eh? Put them aside and get some oil on to deep fry. Obviously in a deep frier if you have one, or a pot if you don’t. Oven bake only if you are seriously allergic to oil. Deep fry the shanks in batches of 6-8 depending on the size of your deep frier, keeping cooked batches warm in a 100C oven.

Have a beer and mentally prepare yourself for the experience. Eat the effing shit out of that, sharing only if absolutely necessary.

This is food that was created specifically to go with beer. More to come… soon… ish.

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