Duck tacos with avocado and tomatillo salsa.

Tomatillos are a staple in Mexican cuisine used in cooked or fresh green sauces. They are closely related to cape gooseberries having a similar husk around the fruit. The annual plant is about the same size as a tomato but they are self-incompatible meaning they need to buddy up to at least one other plant for proper pollination, preferably more. They grow really well in South Australia, seeds and plants can be bought from chili mojo on Magill Rd and planted in Spring. My parents grew these from last years seed but they can self seed if left to their own devices.

As for flavour I would say they have a fresh flavour closest to coriander which makes them such good friends when cooked together. For the tomatillo and avocado sauce in this recipe I blackened the tomatillos (above) then put them in a food processor with a handful of coriander, two avocados, a small green chilli, 1 clove of garlic and salt and pepper. The sauce was processed to a smooth consistency, runier than a guacamole. This is how I saw them do it in a taco shop in Mexico city.

For the duck (serves 2)

2-3 duck legs, rendered

2 tbsp corn oil or grape seed oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2-3 tsp ground chipotle chilli

1/4 tsp ground aniseed

1/4 tsp ground pimento

1/2 tsp ground coriander

2 oranges, juiced

2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

salt and pepper

Heat the oil in an oven proof cast iron pot with a lid and fry the onion until softened and golden, add garlic and soften. Add spices and fry 2 minutes. Add orange juice, tomatoes, an extra 1/2 cup of water and season with salt and pepper. When simmering add the rendered duck (you can render in this pot before you start the sauce and tip out the duck fat before adding the oil). Put the lid on the pot and cook in the oven for 2 hours. The duck should come off the bone and be easily shredded. Reduce the sauce if quite liquid until it is sticky then return the shredded duck for a coating in the sauce.

Serve with shredded lettuce, the tomatillo and avocado salsa and soft flour tortillas warmed under a grill or in the oven.


11 thoughts on “Duck tacos with avocado and tomatillo salsa.

    • Hi Sarah, they do come in a tin which you can get from chilli mojo but I have never tried them. Think about growing them next summer, my parents will probably have plenty of seedlings I can throw your way.

  1. Hi, this is one of the best recipes I’ve read in a long time. But can you suggest anything to subsititute for the aniseed – it’s the one flavour I just can’t handle. Thank you

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