The inspiration for this comes from an excellent Malay dish called ayam percik, where chicken is grilled over charcoal flames after being marinated in an irresistible coconut and lemongrass sauce. Malaysian-style Nandos if you like. I have used duck for this spicy Christmas treat, which goes really well with the usual festive extras such as roast potatoes. The sauce has a hefty chilli kick, so if you prefer less chilli heat, simply halve the number of chillies and the amount of sugar.
This recipe is made using a 1.25kg duck, which is a good size for two people, but would also work perfectly for larger ducks.
Serves 2whole duck 1 x 1.25kg (gizzards removed)
For the spice paste lemongrass 4 stalks, hard outer leaves and end removed, roughly choppedwhite onion 100g, peeled and roughly choppedgarlic 4 cloves, peeledturmeric powder ½ tbspfresh red chillies 4, tops removed, roughly choppedshrimp paste ½ tbsp (or replace with 2 tbsp fish sauce)salt ½ tbspgranulated sugar 2 tbspcoconut milk 120gvegetable oil 2 tbsp
The day before you cook the duck, blitz the spice paste ingredients in a food processor or a juicer until it reaches the consistency of a fine paste. Put it in a saucepan and fry on medium heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Add 200ml water, bring to boil and simmer for another 10 minutes stirring often. Turn off the heat. If the sauce is a bit lumpy, use a handheld blender to blitz the sauce further so that it is smooth. Leave to cool.
Once cool, use half of it and smear all over the duck including underneath and inside the cavity, then place it in a large roasting tray and put it in the fridge overnight, uncovered, to let the flavours penetrate. Save the remaining half of the sauce to eat with the duck later.