Roasted Duck Breast With Tamarind-Chilli Sauce

Roasted Duck Breast With Tamarind-Chilli Sauce
Janet DeNeefe

Cook and author

Oct 18, 2021

Bali has been home to Janet DeNeefe – or The Queen of Ubud – as she is fondly nicknamed – for over 20 years. This talented cook, restauranteur, author, artist, literary festival director, wife, mother, and practicing Hindu shares some of her favourite Indonesian-inspired recipes with us. 

I am eternally fascinated with palm sugar and tamarind, and adore the marriage of these two distinct, gutsy flavours: sweet and sour but decidedly complex and charming. Enter shrimp paste and here you have Madame Salty with loads of personality! I decided these cheeky divas would be a great match for roasted duck. The sauce is rather like the dressing for rujak but with a dash of sesame oil. See what you think!

Serves 4

1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
4 duck breasts, skin on (about 300 g each)
2 baby leeks, roots trimmed and cut in chunks
3 red shallots, peeled
2 lemongrass stalks, bruised and tied in knots
1 medium carrot, cut into large chunks
625 ml chicken stock or water
fried shallots to garnish

Tamarind-Chilli Sauce
750 ml chicken stock
2 tablespoons tamarind pulp soaked in 80 ml water, strained
2 teaspoons fish sauce
7 tablespoons palm sugar
3 long red chillies, finely sliced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Heat the oven to 180°C.

Grind the coriander seeds in a mortar, then add the salt and shrimp paste and grind to a mixture resembling coarse sand. Rub the mixture all over the duck breasts, then set aside.
Put the leeks, shallots, lemongrass and chunks of carrot in a baking dish large enough to fit the duck breasts. Pour in the stock or water and add the duck breasts skin-side up on top of the vegetables.
Roast in the oven for at least 11/2 hours, until the meat is cooked through and the skin is crisp. Top the dish up with a little water during cooking if it looks dry (although the juices should reduce a little as they will be added to the sauce, to give extra depth).
While the duck is cooking, prepare the sauce. Put the stock, tamarind water, fish sauce and palm sugar syrup in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until reduced to a glossy, gravy-like sauce. Taste for a good balance of sweet, sour and salty flavours.
When the duck is cooked, remove it from the dish and cover with foil. Pour the juices
from the dish into the sauce and add the chilli and sesame oil. Simmer for another minute.
Serve the duck breasts drizzled with the sauce and topped with fried shallots.

The Carousel thanks BALI The Food of my Island Home


By Janet DeNeefe

Cook and author

Cook, restauranteur, author, artist, literary festival director, wife, mother, and practicing Hindu - Janet is a one-woman powerhouse and fondly named 'The Queen of Ubud' in beautiful Bali. Take a culinary journey with the humble and inspiring Janet as she shares her love of Indonesian-inspired food with The Carousel


The Carousel