Curry Duck With Pigeon Peas

Curry Duck with Pigeon Peas
Chris De La Rosa

While I’ve shared several Curry Duck Recipes with you over the years, only after receiving a request via Instagram for Curry Duck With Pigeon Peas, did I realize that had not already shared this classic Caribbean curry recipe. And while using freshly harvested Pigeon Peas would make for an even better tasting dish, the frozen version still gives you an EXCELLENT result.

Curry Duck with Pigeon Peas
Photo by Chris De La Rosa

You’ll Need…

6-7 lbs duck (prepared)
3/4 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning (divided)
1 tablespoon ground masala
2-3 tablespoon Olive oil
1 tomato (diced)
2 scotch bonnet peppers (sliced)
1 medium Onion (sliced)
8 cloves Garlic (smashed)
Cumin (geera) seeds
2 1/2 – 3 tablespoon Curry Powder
5-8 dried curry leaves
1 tablespoon dehydrated Chadon beni (optional)
1 tablespoon Anchar Masala
3 tablespoon chopped cilantro
5-8 Wiri Wiri peppers (optional)
2 3/4 cups water (divided- adjust)
2-3 cups frozen pigeon peas + water to boil

Important! This version is very spicy, but you can adjust the amount of Scotch Bonnet and Wiri Wiri you use, to your own preference.

Photo by Chris De La Rosa

Pre boil the pigeon peas in water for 30 mins, drain and repeat for another 30 minutes. This step will help to tenderize the peas, but more importantly, it will remove that sort of bitter taste you can get if you don’t do this step. Drain and set aside after.

Photo by Chris De La Rosa

Season the clean duck (remove skin and fat, wash with lemon juice and cool water – drain). Yea, I removed most of the skin as the additional fat in really not good for us. Tip… get your butcher to cut the duck for you, using his band-saw. Duck bones are very brittle and will shatter with a conventional chefs knife or cleaver. Watch the video below for more tips, including why you flame the duck’s skin during the butchering process.

Photo by Chris De La Rosa
Photo by Chris De La Rosa

In a large bowl with the clean (cut) duck, add the salt, black pepper, 2 tablespoon of the Caribbean Green seasoning, ground Masala, Scotch Bonnet (use as much as you can handle, I like my curry duck SPICY) and tomato. Mix well and try your BEST to allow it to marinate in the fridge overnight.. or at least 2 hours. The tomato’s acidity will help to balance off overall flavor of the curry, plus help us with a thicker gravy at the end.

In a large pot (iron works best) heat the oil (of your choice) on a medium flame, add the onion and garlic, turn the heat down to low and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Photo by Chris De La Rosa

Now add the cumin seeds and stir well. We’re trying our best to not burn anything. A minute later add the remaining tablespoon of Caribbean Green Seasoning. Stir.

One minute later add the curry powder of your choice (I used my blend) and cook gently for 3-5 minutes. Watch the video below for more tips.

Photo by Chris De La Rosa
Photo by Chris De La Rosa

Now turn the heat up to high, stir and add 3/4 cup of water. This step cooks off the rawness of the curry, giving you a much more rounded finished curry at the end. As it comes to a boil, reduce to medium (heat) and add the curry leaves and chadon beni.

The goal is to cook this until the water burns off and you start seeing the oil we stared with, add the Anchar Masala and stir well.

Photo by Chris De La Rosa
Photo by Chris De La Rosa

You’re looking for a thick slurry (see my tip in the video)! With the heat still on high, add the seasoned duck to the pot and stir well to coat the duck with this lovely curry base.

Put the lid on and bring to a boil. It will take a couple minutes.. reduce to a medium/low heat and cook. After ten minutes (stir a few times) crank up the heat to high and burn off all that liquid.

Photo by Chris De La Rosa
Photo by Chris De La Rosa

Once you can see the oil on the bottom of the pot we started with (and all the liquid is gone), add the pre-cooked pigeon peas and stir well. Now add 2 cups of water and bring back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer to cook the duck until it’s tender. Lid on, slightly ajar.

Photo by Chris De La Rosa
Photo by Chris De La Rosa

Do stir ever so often and pay attention to the liquid (add more water if you find it’s too dry).

1 hour later and the duck (depending on the age of it when it was butchered) should be tender. Now it’s time to personalize things, taste and adjust the salt, cook the gravy to the consistency you like (keep in mind it will thicken as it cools) and make sure the tenderness is to your liking. I like fall-off-the bone, some people do like a little chew.

Photo by Chris De La Rosa
Photo by Chris De La Rosa
Photo by Chris De La Rosa

Turn off the stove, top with the cilantro and wiri wiri peppers and ENJOY!

Photo by Chris De La Rosa

Served with hot steamed rice or with off the tawa Buss-Up-Shut Roti! Drop me your comments below, tag me on Instagram and don’t forget you can now get my cookbook – The Vibrant Caribbean Pot, 100 Traditional And Fusion Recipes @ CaribbeanPot.com/CookBook/

 

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