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Duck Leg Adobo – A Real Family Meal

If you’ve worked in restaurants before, you know that every
night before service the staff sits down to what’s called the “family meal.”
One of the younger cooks is usually charged with scraping together something
filling and, more importantly, not expensive. It was during one of these
meals that I first had adobo.


When I worked at the Carnelian Room in the late 80’s, much
of the kitchen crew was Filipino, so chicken and pork adobo was a very
common dinner. One of the dishwashers made a particularly great version, and I fell in
love with the bold, simple flavors. I also remember being pretty annoyed that
the dishwashers there were better cooks than I was at the time,
but that’s another story.

Anyway, I happened to have some duck legs around last week, and all it
took was a well-timed email wishing for adobo to inspire this video. I
understand that most of you will not use duck for this, but if you do, be sure
to save the fat.

Duck fat is prized by chefs, and more heart-healthy than
people realize. It can be used for just about anything you’d normally fry
in butter or vegetable oil. I roasted some Brussels spouts with mine, but it
also will make just about the best homefries you’ve ever tasted.


Like I said in the video, no duck, no problem. If you can simmer it
in a sauce, it will work in this recipe. Because of the high soy sauce content,
be careful about over reducing, but other than that, not much can go wrong.
This is cheap, easy, and very flavorful, which is why it makes for such a
great “family meal.” Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6 duck legs:
6 duck legs (or about same amount of chicken or pork)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp reserved duck fat
1 large onion, sliced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup seasoned rice vinegar (if not seasoned, use a little
sugar to taste)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp samal chili sauce, or other hot pepper sauce to taste
2-4 bay leaves

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