Duck in Guajillo Peanut Sauce
Roberto Santibanez, formerly corporate chef at the multi-unit Rosa Mexicana, recently opened his own restaurant called Fonda. He also operates The Taco Truck and is author of the cookbook, "Truly Mexican".
2 lb. moulard duck breasts
1 med. tomato, core cut out
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 large guajillo chilies, wiped clean and stems removed
2 to 4 arbol chilies, wiped clean and stems removed
2 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
1 cup shelled peanuts, preferably raw
1/2-1 tsp. black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. Mexican oregano
4-5 cups chicken stock
1 tsp. fine salt or 2 tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cider vinegar
Chopped peanuts, for garnish
- With sharp paring knife, make diagonal cuts about 3/4-in apart through skin and almost all of the fat on duck breasts, without cutting through meat. Make diagonal cuts in opposite direction to score skin and fat in a diamond pattern.
- Rub a generous amount of salt into both meat and skin side of duck. Let stand at room temperature for up to 1 hr.
- In heavy skillet over med.-low heat, place duck breasts skin-side down; cook until much of the fat has rendered and skin is a deep brown. Flip duck breasts and cook until second side is well-browned, about 8 min.
- Cut an “X” through skin on bottom of tomato. Place tomato, garlic, guajillo and arbol chilies on a baking sheet. Roast in preheated 500°F oven for 5 min., watching chilies closely and turning them as they brown slightly on all sides.
- Remove chilies and reserve. Turn garlic cloves; roast until golden brown and slightly soft, about 8 min. Remove garlic. Roast tomato until blackened and softened, 25 to 30 min. Peel tomato.
- Heat 1 tbsp. oil in med. skillet over med. Heat. Add peanuts; cook, stirring constantly, until they are deep golden brown, 3 to 5 min. Transfer to med. bowl.
- Soak peanuts, roasted chilies, peppercorns, cloves, thyme and oregano in 2 1/2 cups chicken stock for 30 min. (Soaking makes blending easier but you can skip this step.) Blend peanut mixture with garlic, peeled tomato, salt, sugar and vinegar until smooth, about 3 min.
- Heat remaining 1 tbsp. oil in 4- to 5-qt. heavy pot over med. heat. Add blended mixture and bring to a simmer. Simmer sauce over low heat, uncovered, for about 45 min., stirring frequently and adding more broth as necessary to maintain a velvety texture. Season with salt to taste.
- For service, reheat duck in sauce. Slice and nap with sauce. Garnish with peanuts.