My high school pal Brian has long raved about the crispy duck curry he orders from Udom Thai restaurant in Brooklyn. (Here’s a photo of it, above.)
A few months ago, after hearing him rave about it yet again, I decided to attempt my own crispy duck curry. It is not an easy dish to make. For one – and this may seem obvious – you need to buy duck, which is not always easy to find. I finally located a frozen whole duck at Whole Foods at Union Square. Of course, my specialty is curry, not assorted poultry….but luckily my dining companion Rodger (a Julia Childs buff) knew how to defrost and bone it.
The next tricky step was finding a recipe. Turns out, crispy duck curry is actually a fusion dish: the “crispy duck” part is Chinese while the “curry” is Thai. The best recipe I found came from Jules and Khwanjai Norfolk – here’s a link to their Crispy Duck Red Curry here. These two are amusing – he’s a British bloke, while she’s a Thai chef. You can also watch a teaser video of them making the dish.
So, the reason this is not an easy dish to make – aside from defrosting and boning the duck – is that you also have to deep-fry it. I don’t have a deep fryer, so instead made do with a Le Creuset pot, filled with sunflower oil. We deep-fried the chicken breast until golden – a messy but ultimately delicious process. Served with the curry – made with red curry paste, coconut milk and kaffir lime leaves – it was, as Mr. Norfolk says, “absolutely gorgeous.”
But what’s far easier is just to order it from Udom Thai, which I did the other night while visiting Brian as his awesome new duplex in Brooklyn. We had it with a Riesling, and gobbled it down. No wonder Brian has long raved about it. I’d make the trek again to Brooklyn, just to order it again. I highly recommend you do too!