Tender and juicy Maple Leaf Farms duck is grilled up and serve on top of rich pate and quick pickled vegetables. Duck Bahn Mi Tacos are simple to make and taste so delicious! You can easily travel from your kitchen with this fun twist on duck, tacos, and bahn mi! I received delicious duck to create this post, but all opinions are mine.
It’s #CookoutWeek! If you’re not sure what that is, well, let me tell ya! It’s hosted by Allison from The PinterTest Kitchen. She’s wrestled up not just bloggers to participate in this event, but some sponsors, too. She’s got Barleans, Chef Shamy, Maple Leaf Farms, and Vermont Village to not only offer up products for us to use, but products as part of a giveaway.
I have two taco recipes this week. I had one planned already, but then I was afforded the opportunity to work with Maple Leaf Farms duck. Yes, I could have made something else with the delicious products I received, but I had these bahn mi tacos on my brain. And they sounded too delicious not to make.
Am I right?
Now, I have to confess that duck and I haven’t had a great past. I know I’ve talked about this before when I cooked up my first duck breast. Chimichurri Crispy Duck Breast with Baked Tostones was the first time I cooked duck breast. Before that I made some Duck Bacon, Pear, and Brie Baked Wontons and some Curried Duck Mini Meat Pies. The bacon was already cooked and the ground duck was…well…ground, I didn’t feel like I was really cooking duck.
You should have seen me tentatively take the tiniest bite of the ground duck for the meat pies. I’m such a wimp. But if you’ve had the history with duck that I have you would totally understand! I tried some duck spring rolls at a party once. EW! I had some one other time, but I can’t remember what or where. But it wasn’t favorable and turned me off duck forever!
Or so I thought…
Then enter the hubs. For my birthday he takes me to NYC for dinner, a show, and a great birthday. And it was one of the best birthdays!! He took me to a French restaurant where I ordered lamb. I’ve had a sordid past with that, too. He ordered duck. And it was delicious. That’s when I vowed to try cooking duck on my own. Fresh duck. That I know where it’s been and not some arbitrary duck that’s been in a freezer somewhere.
And, here I am cooking duck breast once again! Not just any duck breast but Maple Leaf Farms duck breast. Their duck is super delicious! It doesn’t have any of that gamey flavor I remember in my previous experiences eating duck. Their duck is full of delicious flavor that I truly enjoy! I never ever thought I’d say that. Honestly. Who is this person writing this post? I think I’ve been possessed.
From my previous experience with cooking duck breast, you have to render the fat out of the skin. It’s a must. There can be quite a bit of rendered duck fat, too! More than you can think if you haven’t cooked duck breast before. You really can’t compare it to chicken breasts or thighs with the skin on. Just not even in the same league. I’m here to warn you.
I’m also here to tell you that you SHOULD NOT throw that duck fat away. People pay good money for that! You need to keep it and use it to toss French fries in, cook scrambled eggs or omelets, or drizzle on roasted vegetables. It’s a rich and flavorful fat that you shouldn’t toss. If you’re not ready to use it right away, then pop it into the freezer.
Duck breast is not all that difficult to cook. Seriously, it’s not. For the first almost 20 minutes it’s very hands off with the exception of pouring off the excess fat so the skin stays crispy and doesn’t braise in the fat. After that it’s a flip and little more cooking until the internal temperature reaches 140 F for a medium or 165 F for well done. Then you let them rest like any other meat, slice, and devour!
You see? Not difficult at all!
I hear you laughing at me. I thought the same thing. It just sounds like it’s difficult and chefs make you think it’s difficult so you have to go to their restaurant to have good duck. Well, with Maple Leaf Farms duck, you can have good duck at home. No need to go out. I promise!
Especially if you made these Duck Bahn Mi Tacos! They have all the flavors of bahn mi with the quick pickles and the paté. I used a pork liver paté, but you could get duck or goose liver paté. Or even make your own chicken liver paté. I think that’s next on the list of things to make. I know I’d have to eat it all myself because I don’t think the hubs likes paté. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
I find it very interesting that the two Vietnamese recipes I’ve made has pate in it. My Bo Ne has pate in it. Traditional recipes call for it. For those that don’t know, misstionaries from France came to Vietnam and Cambodia and colonized these two countries. They created the Indochinese Union in 1887.
Of course, they brought several ingredients traditional in French cuisine with the Vietnamese adapted to their cuisine. Pate and bread are the main two that come to mind, but I think they brought potatoes, corn, and coffee with them, too.
And that’s your history lesson for the day dear readers!
Either way you serve them up, these Duck Bahn Mi Tacos are packed with flavor and a great twist on bahn mi, tacos, AND duck breast. It’s a three-fer!
Get a head start on the giveaway and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. Those YouTube videos are handy if you’re apprehensive about cooking duck. They’re really informative and will have you cooking like a pro in no time!
- 1 boiling cup water
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- 1/2 cup matchstick cut carrots
- 1/2 cup matchstick cut daikon radish
- 1/2 cup matchstick cut cucumber
- 2 - 7.5 ounce duck breasts
- 4 ounces pate
- 6 small tortilla shells (we used flour tortillas)
- The day before, combine the water with the vinegar, sugar, salt, sesame oil, and crushed red pepper. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Place the vegetables in a jar with a screw top lid. Pour the pickling mixture over the vegetables and allow to sit overnight.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully score the skin on the breast. Turn and score the skin again so you have a nice diamond pattern on the skin. Be careful not to cut into the meat.
- Place the duck breasts, skin side down, in a cold pan (I used a grill pan since they would be grilled later.) Turn the heat to medium and cook until most of the fat is rendered and the skin is golden brown and crispy. This could be anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the skin.
- While the breasts are cooking, preheat your grill to high heat.
- Once the skin is golden brown and crispy, remove the breasts from the heat. Spray you grill with cooking spray or brush with oil before placing the duck skin side up on the grill. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the internal temperature is 140 for medium or 165 for well done.
- Allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.
- Spread the pate on each of the six tortillas. Top with the pickled vegetables and the sliced duck and serve.
#CookoutWeek 2018 is here!
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Disclaimer: Thank you to #CookoutWeek Sponsors The PinterTest Kitchen, Chef Shamy, Maple Leaf Farms, Barleans, and Vermont Village for providing the prizes free of charge. These sponsors also provided bloggers with samples and product to use for creating #CookoutWeek recipes. All opinions are my own.