Thursday, November 18, 2010

Empanadas de Pato a la Huancaina: Duck Empanadas with a Spicy Peruvian Sauce

Last Friday I had two dear friends over for dinner. As Emily, Laura and I love Spanish, travel and good food, I thought it fitting to prepare empanadas for dinner. I'd recently purchased aji amarillo paste and was excited to try it out. Aji de gallina and papas a la huancaina are
among my favorite Peruvian dishes, so I thought it would be a fun twist to try substituting duck for the traditional chicken. (For the purists out there, this is my version of the sauce).

For the Duck:

4 duck legs, thawed (or fresh!), rinsed well with water and patted dry with a paper towel.
S & P

Heat oven to 300.
Salt and pepper duck legs.
Place duck legs fat side down inside cooking dish.
Cook for 2 1/2-3 hours or until fat has melted into cooking dish.
Remove duck legs from cooking dish, place at
op paper towels to drain some of the fat and let cool.
Remove duck meat and set aside.

For Aji/Huancaina Sauce:

1 diced onion
3 minced garlic cloves
4 tablespoons aji amarillo paste
2 cups chicken stock
3 slices stale white bread
1 cup whole milk
4 oz crumbled queso fresco
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
S&P to taste

Soak bread in milk. Mash up with a fork.
In large saute pan, heat up olive oil or butter over medium to medium-low heat.
Add onions and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, keeping an eye on it to make sure that the garlic
does not brown.
Add cumin, turmeric and paprika to mixture.
Add mashed bread/milk and aji amarillo to pan. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add chicken stock and queso fresco to pan. Simmer 20 minutes.
Blend mixture until smooth. Return to heat and simmer additional 15-20 minutes.
Store sauce in refrigerator until serving.

For Empanadas:

10 empanada shells
4 oz chopped spinach
4 oz crumbled queso fresco
1 caramelized onion
Duck meat

To Make Empanadas:

Preheat oven to 400.
Roll out defrosted empanada shells and fill with duck meat, spinach, crumbled queso freso and caramelized onion mixture.
Fold over shells to make a half moon. Pinch shut with fingers and then press along seam with a fork to create indentations.
Cook about 20 minutes in oven until empanadas are golden.

Serve with heated huancaina sauce and a delicious Pisco Sour!