Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Duck Quesadillas

I have actually been using Dorot cubes in my cooking for quite some time. When I learned that they would be the sponsor of a 37 Cooks Challenge I was SO excited! I decided to create a dish that was pretty simple, yet could be turned into something nice enough to serve to guests. This recipe relies on a crock pot, makes a lot of food and can be served in a few different ways, not just as quesadillas. You could easily make just half, but I would make it as written. Aside from quesadillas, the duck is great served as tacos, over rice, or with pasta. It also freezes well, so don't worry about the amount. Just toss some in the freezer and save for later! Also...if you don't have duck, you can easily substitute an equal amount of dark meat chicken, such as thighs. Enjoy!

Sweet and Spicy Duck Quesadillas
by Chris
Adapted from Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken from the Just a Taste blog

12 ounces honey
1 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons cumin
1 cup grape jam
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 Tablespoons Sriracha
4 cubes Dorot Crushed Ginger
3 Tablespoons olive oil
7 cubes Dorot Crushed Garlic
4 cubes Dorot Sauteed Glazed Onion
1 cube Dorot Chopped Chili (or substitute 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes- the cubes were very difficult to find in my area!)
2- 3 cups chicken stock
2 onions, cut into rings and separated
4-5 pounds of duck (or chicken), skin removed, boneless preferred
2 Tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 6 Tablespoons of water
2 red bell peppers, cut into strips
2 green bell peppers, cut into strips
a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce (optional, but recommended)
10-inch flour tortillas, for serving (each tortilla will make 2 individual triangles, so plan on 1-3 tortillas per person, depending on if you are serving this as an appetizer or a main dish.)
Flavored Compound Butter (recipe below)

In a large bowl combine the honey, soy sauce, cumin, jam, hoisin sauce, Sriracha, ginger cubes, olive oil, garlic cubes, sautéed onion cubes, and chili cube. Mix well and set aside. Add about 2/3 cup of chicken stock to the bottom of a large crock pot (6 quart), enough to cover. Place one of the onions (rings) in an even layer on the bottom of the crock. Layer about half of the meat on top of the onions, then pour about half of the large bowl of sauce over the meat. Place the other onion (rings) on top, add the rest of the meat, and again pour the sauce over the entire dish (you should use all of the sauce.) Allow to cook on high for 2 hours, undisturbed.

After 2 hours, quickly open the crock pot, flip the meat, and stir the sauce carefully. If you need to add more liquid, feel free to add up to 1 cup of water and 1 cup of chicken stock (use equal amounts of water and stock). You want the meat to remain covered in liquid. Replace lid and allow to cook for 2 hours more on high.

After the second 2 hours on high, check the mixture, stir again, and also add more liquid if necessary, as before. Cook for 1 more hour on high.

After 5 hours of cooking on high heat, remove all of the meat and set aside to cool. While meat is cooling, add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce in the crock pot and stir well. This will thicken the sauce a bit. Replace lid quickly and allow sauce to stay warm. Shred and debone (if necessary) the meat. Return the shredded meat to the crock pot, add all of the red and green bell pepper strips, and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours more.

At this point the meat mixture can be cooled and stored in the refrigerator or frozen. Use it "as is" over rice or pasta. To use in tacos, drain off the sauce (reserve), use the meat and veggies as your taco filling, and top with as little or as much sauce as you'd like. To make quesadillas, read on...

To make quesadillas for 2 people (as a snack or appetizer) you will need 4 flour tortillas, approximately 1 1/2 cups of the duck mixture (including sauce), and the compound butter, melted. You will also need a large non-stick skillet and a basting brush.

Heat the skillet over high heat and add the duck mixture. Stirring constantly, allow it to cook for about 4-5 minutes, until sauce has reduced and caramelized. Turn heat down to medium-low and add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce (I used 3-4 dashes of Chipotle Tabasco), to taste. Continue to stir over medium-low heat for another 1-2 minutes. Remove duck from skillet and set aside to cool briefly. While meat is cooling, rinse skillet and wipe clean with paper towels.

Return skillet to stove top and preheat over medium or medium-high heat (this will depend on the thickness of your tortillas and your stove's settings.) Lay the tortillas out on a clean work surface and place about 1/3- 1/2 of a cup of the duck mixture on one side (left or right) of each tortilla. Fold the other side of the tortilla over the top of the duck mixture, creating filled half-moons. Brush the tops of the half-moons liberally with the Flavored Compound Butter.

Working with one quesadilla at a time, place the buttered side down in the hot skillet for about 30 seconds. While it is cooking, brush the top of the quesadilla with more butter. After 30 seconds, gently flip the tortilla, in order to brown and crisp the second side. If your tortillas are not as crispy or as brown as you would like, continue to flip and cook, no longer than 10-15 seconds per side. Watch them carefully, as they burn quickly! Allow skillet to re-heat between each quesadilla, and wipe away any juices or browned bits that remain in the skillet. They will burn and cause lots of smoke. Allow quesadillas to cool slightly, then cut them in half, forming triangles. You could always add a dipping sauce, but we have enjoyed them without, straight from the skillet. If you happen to have leftovers, simply reheat briefly in the microwave (to heat the filling) and then sear quickly in a dry, non-stick skillet. Hope y'all enjoy as much as we do. Cheers!

Flavored Compound Butter:
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cubes Dorot Crushed Garlic, at room temperature
2 cubes Dorot Chopped Basil, at room temperature
Combine all of the above ingredients, mixing well to incorporate the herbs into the butter. Place in a container with a tight-fitting lid and put into the refrigerator until ready to use. This can be done ahead of time and will last indefinitely when stored chilled. You will need to melt the butter when assembling the quesadillas, but any unused butter can be re-refrigerated. It's also quite good served on rolls or warm bread!

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