When the awesome people from Pelleh Poultry sent me a beautiful box of their insanely perfect duck and duck products, I knew exactly what I was going to do with them.
I mentally stashed some away for some crazy shabbos meals, some products, like the duck fat, I earmarked for our annual Chanukah French fry fest, and these beautiful duck breast I tucked away just for this.
So often, duck can seem intimidating. And for good reason. Peking duck, which in my opinion is the best actual thing to come out of China, EVER, is craaaaazy difficult to make. Even easier methods of cooking like, a good duck confit, because it is so outside of the box from the way we normally cook, can feel overwhelming. But, alas, there are other easier cooking methods. They require no more effort than you would put into any other protein, but because you are using duck, which by nature is sooooooo much more flavorful and juicy, it is just infinitely more delicious.
The process here of scoring, mixing a bunch of ingredients, pouring it over your duck, then cooking and pulling, could not be simpler. Maaaaaaaaybe you could say the final step of thickening and reducing the glaze is a bit more tedious. But. It. Is. Worth. It.
When you finally top your latke with the warm and moist pulled duck and the slowly drizzle the ooey-gooey citrus scented, Asain style glaze over the top, holy moly, you will understand.
For Scallion Latkes:
*If you follow these steps, there is no need to add flour or matzah meal to your latkes. The batter will be dry enough and any natural starch you added will assist in crispiness and holding the last together.
**Why not just add potato starch?
a) The only time of year I buy potato starch is Pesach. There is no way I’m adding that to my pantry when we have naturally occurring starch to use!
b) Using the starch the potatoes give off yields the perfect amount of starch. If I write a recipe using 4 potatoes, every one of us will have slightly different size potatoes. So saying to add 1 tbsp of starch yield a slightly different result for everyone. If you use the natural starches that your potatoes gave off, you will always have used the right amount!
*** Instead of using my hands to squeeze out the potatoes, I like to use a kitchen towel. I wring the towel out with my hands to push all the liquid out of the potato. I then transfer my grated potato and onions to a bowl to mix with all the other ingredients and then return the completed latke mixture to the strainer so that any more liquid that accumulates can just drip right through to a bowl. This will keep the last latke you fry just as crispy as the first one!