This stew is very rich and hearty and the depth of flavour is enormous. Star anise are seed pods from a tree native to Southern China — if you can’t find them replace with one flaked cinnamon quill. You can also make this using chicken, it will take about 40 minutes less cooking time.
Heat a heavy frying pan and brown meat all over without adding any oil. The duck should be fatty enough so it won’t need any. Brown only as many pieces that will fit in comfortably at one time. Remove pieces to a plate when they’re ready.
Keeping rendered fat in the frying pan, add onions and leek and fry on a high heat, stirring often, until onions begin to colour. Put them into the bottom of a large casserole dish with carrot, garlic, ginger, star anise and bayleaf. Lay duck on top and sprinkle with salt. In the same frying pan, bring coconut milk and water to the boil, then pour over the duck. (If liquid doesn’t cover meat, add more hot water.)
Cover the dish and cook 2 hours, then remove lid and
© 2003 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.