|Braised Duck With Green Beans, Thai Style
4 duck legs or 1 duck, cut into quarters
Salt and pepper
1 large onion, sliced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 or 2 small chilies, seeded and minced, or crushed red chili flakes to taste
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons nam pla (fish sauce) or soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice, or to taste
Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish, optional
Remove excess fat from duck or duck legs. Season with salt and pepper, and put in a skillet that will fit it comfortably; turn heat to medium, and cover. Check once you hear sizzling: duck should be simmering in its own fat and exuding liquid. Adjust heat to create a steady simmer.
Once bottom browns, turn. Eventually liquid will evaporate and duck will cook in fat only; at this point, lower heat and continue to cook duck, turning once in a while, until it becomes tender, about an hour.
Transfer duck to a plate. Pour off all but a couple of tablespoons of fat. Turn heat to medium high, and add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add ginger, garlic and chilies and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add beans and sugar and turn heat to high; cook, stirring occasionally, until beans begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
Add 2 tablespoons water and nam pla or soy sauce. Put duck on top of bean mixture and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until both beans and duck are very tender, 15 to 30 more minutes, adding a little more water if necessary to keep mixture moist. (You can prepare dish in advance up to this point; cover and set aside until ready to eat, then reheat.) Uncover and stir in lime juice; taste and adjust seasoning, then sprinkle with cilantro and serve. Yield 4 servings. Time 1 1/2 to 2 hours - The New York Times