For special ceremonial occasions in Bali, cooking becomes a community activity and elaborately prepared dishes are crafted to honour the gods. Bebek betutu is one such creation, where duck is bathed in a spice paste and cooked for a whole day in a terracotta pot buried under rice husk embers. The meat is unbelievably tender and imbued with smoke and spice. I have adapted the traditional technique for a home oven with a smoking bag (or covered roasting tray) making it a more manageable feast, but a feast nonetheless.
Rub the duck skin all over with the tamarind paste and a scrunch of salt. Set aside at room temperature whilst you prepare the bumbu.
Roughly chop the aromatics for the bumbu and put everything in a blender with
Paint the bumbu all over the outside of the duck, stuffing the rest into the cavity.
Tuck the duck and its spicy coating into an oven smoking bag and seal closed. Alternatively, place in a roasting tin in which it will sit quite snugly and cover tightly with a double layer of tin foil.
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