If you are a hard core fan of Bizarre Food like me, you would probably have already heard or tried duck necks before. They are a true delicacy and widely popular in China and maybe some other Asian countries too.
Because ducks constantly move their necks around, the meat from this part is lean and tender. it is one of my favorites too.
Ingredients for braising duck necks：
3 to 4 pounds duck necks
1 pot of “old soy sauce” *
1 clove of garlic
2 bay leaves
2 star anises
3 to 4 pieces of dried rhizome/ dried ginger slices
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 to 2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup rice cooking wine
1 small piece of ginger root, crushed
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
1 handful dried chili peppers
1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
1/2 small cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1black cardamom pot
salt to taste
water for braising
(* An pot of “old soy sauce” is also called “old sauce”. It is the remaining braising sauce being boiled, filtered, covered tightly and kept in freezer. Just like the “old dough” in pastry, the “old soy sauce” adds deeper, richer and better flavor to the braised meat. A really good pot of “old soy sauce” may last years.)
2 to 3 tablespoon chili oil sauce
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorn oil
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
salt to taste
The chili oil sauce is available in almost every Asian grocery store. But I like to make my own version of chili oil sauce.
Remove any connective tissues on duck necks and rinse well under cold running water.
Blanch in boiling water for 5 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
Put all spices needed except ginger for braising in a coffee filter paper. If one is not big enough, use two pieces.
Tight it up
In a cast iron pot, add “old soy sauce”, spice bag, ginger, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rice cooking wine, oyster sauce, salt and water.
Heat the cast iron pot over high heat until it boils. Add duck necks. Cover with lid and reduce the heat to simmer for about 60 minutes. If you like it more tender, extend the simmering time a bit longer.
Transfer the duck necks to a plate. Cool down to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
With a sharp clever, chop the duck necks into 1 and 1/2 to 2 inches pieces. Add chili oil sauce, soy sauce, minced garlic, Sichuan peppercorn oil, toasted and crushed Sichuan peppercorns, sugar, sesame oil and salt. Mix well.
You can serve it now. But the longer it sits, the better the flavor gets! I usually make the dish ahead of time and let it sit for a couple hours before serving.
It goes so well with Michigan local beer!