Duck Tacos with Refried Black Beans

I usually think of duck meat as being too fatty to agree with me. 😉 After seeing Sara Moulton make these tacos, she convinced me to give it another chance. In this dish, the fatty skin is removed and the shredded duck meat was very moist and flavorful.

I often see the vacuum-sealed, cooked rotisserie duck at Costco. On my last visit, when most the fresh poultry was out of stock and the rotisserie chicken was limited to one per visit, there was plenty of rotisserie duck available. 🙂 These tacos could also be made with rotisserie chicken, of course, but this was a nice change. My son thought that they were “next-level.”

This recipe was adapted from Sara’s Weeknight Meals, via SaraMolton.com. I doubled the original recipe to use the entire rotisserie duck and added additional toppings. The leftover filling was just as delicious reheated and served with fresh toppings and taco shells. The healthy and quick refried black beans were fabulous too.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

For the Spice Blend:

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

For the Filling & Toppings:

  • 1 half of a cooked rotisserie duck
  • 1 T vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
  • 3 T water
  • 12 ready-to-eat regular-size taco shells, warmed according to package directions
  • chopped or shredded iceberg lettuce or finely-shredded cabbage, for serving
  • chopped tomatoes (I used chopped grape tomatoes)m for serving
  • shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese or a Mexican cheese blend, to taste, for serving
  • prepared salsa, for serving
  • light sour cream, for serving
  • cilantro, for serving
  • diced avocado, for serving
  • canned diced chilies, for serving
  • hot sauce, for serving (I used Chipotle Cholula)
  • rice, for serving, optional
  • Refried beans, recipe below

To Make the Spice Blend:

  1. Add the ingredients to a bowl and stir well to combine.

To Make the Fillings, Toppings, & To Serve:

  1. Remove the skin from the duck meat. Shred enough meat from one half of a rotisserie cooked duck to yield 2 1/2 cups.
  2. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the shredded duck and spice blend and stir to combine.
  4. Stir in the water and cook, covered, for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Divide the filling among the taco shells.
  6. Top with the lettuce and tomatoes, and sprinkle with cheese.  Top with cilantro, avocado, diced chiles, and hot sauce, as desired. Spoon on the salsa and sour cream, if using.
  7. Serve immediately with refried beans on the side. (The refried beans can be used as an additional taco filling, if desired.)

For the Refried Beans:

  • 2 T vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (I used 1 large yellow onion when I doubled the recipe)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups thoroughly cooked black beans or one 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • chopped cilantro, for garnish
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
  4. Stir in the cumin and chili powder and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add the beans and chicken stock, cover, and cook until the beans are very soft and the flavors are well blended, about 5 minutes.
  6. Use a fork or potato masher to coarsely mash the beans.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.

Note: Cooked, rotisserie duck can be purchased online @Maple Leaf Farms.com.

Rick Bayless’ Classic Mexican Fried Beans with Onions & Garlic

Refried beans are an essential side dish to every Mexican meal. I am a fan of Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Salsa Style Refried Pinto Beans- I am not sure if I should be embarrassed to admit it. 🙂 They are smooth-textured and tasty.

This dish, Frijoles Refritos, is very different- and delicious as well! The beans are coarsely mashed and thick-textured. I used pinto beans (my preference) but any type of bean could be used and each would have a unique flavor. I also used avocado oil, but I am sure that they would be even tastier with bacon drippings!

This recipe is from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen: Capturing the Vibrant Flavors of a World-Class Cuisine. We ate them with Tacos of Creamy Braised Chard, Potatoes, & Poblanos. It would be pretty easy to just eat them as a dip with tortilla chips too.

Yield: Makes about 3 1/2 cups, 6 generous servings

  • 2 T vegetable oil, rich-tasting lard, bacon or chorizo drippings
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced or finely chopped
  • 4 cups undrained, seasoned cooked beans, preferably slightly warm for easy mashing (I empty the canned beans into a measuring cup and microwave them, in their liquid, for 2 minutes.)
  • coarse salt, to taste
  • about 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled queso fresco, or pressed, salted farmer’s cheese, dry feta or Parmesan, for garnish
  • cilantro, for garnish, optional
  • tortilla chips for garnish, optional
  1. In a large (10- to 12-inch), well-seasoned or nonstick skillet, heat the oil or pork fat over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cook for a minute or so.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to scoop in about 1/4 of the warm beans, leaving most of the liquid behind. With a potato masher or the back of a large spoon, mash the beans into a coarse puree. Add another portion of the beans, mash them in, and continue until all of the beans have been added and coarsely mashed.
  4. Add about a cup of the bean liquid (or water if you have no liquid) and stir frequently over the heat until the beans are still a little soupier than you’d like to serve them (they’ll thicken as they sit). They should have the consistency of warm mashed potatoes. The total cooking time will take 10 to 15 minutes. IMG_7474
  5. Taste and season with salt, if necessary.
  6. Serve sprinkled with crumbled cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips, as desired.

Notes:

  • It is easier to mash warm beans than cold ones. (I microwaved the beans to warm them before adding to the pan.)
  • Cook the beans softer than you want them because the dish thickens as it cools.
  • If the dish is made in advance, keep the beans warm in a double boiler rather than over direct heat. Check consistency and stir in a little water, if necessary, before serving.

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