Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Janwuine-jika Duck
by SuSu

When Ooryl Qrygg became janwuine -- a Gand Findsman -- he invited all of Rogue Squadron, and their supporters, to the janwuine-jika, the ceremony where Ooryl's tale would confer the understanding that when Ooryl said "I", all Gand would know that when "I" meant Ooryl. Concerned for his friends, he made sure they were all elevated to hinwuine, so that when they used personal pronouns, the Gand would not find them rude.

Further concern for his friends made Ooryl realize that they could not eat what Gand eat, and so he settled on a poultry bird which is similar to chicken. Unfortunately, many ducks were delivered instead. Fortunately, Ooryl's wingman, Corran Horn, had dispatched his new wife, Mirax Terrik, to Gand with groceries. She stopped Ooryl from trying to fry the critters, and explained that duck is much tougher and needs to be marinated. Ooryl was at a complete loss, so Mirax provided explicit instructions.

This recipe came from her father, Booster, who as a smuggler was often the recipient of payments in the form of produce. He had several recipes for cooking up any number of unidentifiable (in terms of species or age) specimens, and this one was the most common for animals with a lot of flavorful fat in their skin.

The Rogues were happily fed, not realizing how close they came to sucking on rubber!

  • 2 cups citrus juice, or any acidic juice, like pineapple, cranberry, orange, grapefruit, etc. or wine
  • ½ cup salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons thyme leaves, dried
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 x 6 lb duck (frozen and thawed is fine)
In a saucepan, combine the juice, salt, sugar, peppercorns, thyme and garlic. Heat and stir only till the salt and sugar are dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature.

While the marinade is cooling, cut up the duck. Keeping the skin on, remove the fatty spine and tail, and quarter the remainder of the duck. Remove any large fatty clumps in the thighs. (By the way, use those pieces to make stock. The rendered fat should be saved, it's delicious, but that's another recipe!) Score the fatty skin in a diamond/X pattern, not cutting through to the meat. This will help drain out the fat.

For best results, use a gallon-sized Ziploc bag: place the duck pieces in there and pour in the cooled marinade. Close the bag, eliminating as much air as possible. Massage the bag a bit, making sure every bit of duck is exposed to the marinating liquid. Leave the bag in a cool place for about 2 or 3 hours -- the refrigerator is fine.

To cook, you'll be steaming the duck. (If you don't have a lidded bamboo or steel steamer, you can try to fit a colander into a pot so it sits a few inches above the bottom, or use something like a pasta pot, with a sieve-like insert.) Rinse off and pat the duck dry, and place in the steamer, making sure the pieces are not stacked atop each other. Put a few inches of water in the pot -- below the bottom of the steamer (or colander or sieve). Cover the steamer and cook the duck for about 40 minutes to an hour. Throw away the marinade.

In the last 10 or so minutes of steaming, heat the oven to 450°F/210°C and place a large cast iron skillet on a stovetop, over high flame till the pan is ultra hot (the metal will look a bit 'stretched'). Remove the thigh/leg pieces from the steamer and place skin side down on the hot metal. Be careful, it might spit and spatter! Quickly place the hot pan in the heated oven for about 10 minutes. Add the breast pieces, also skin down, and cook another 10 minutes, till the skin is deep brown and crispy. There should be very little fat left on the skin.

Serves 4.

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