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With mouths afire we unveil the many layers of onion’s little sibling, the shallot. We discuss this sexiest of alliums in the raw, fried, pickled and crisped along with that most vital of questions: Does size really matter? EXPLICIT



Adapted from Braised Duck With Green Beans, Thai Style

Duck With Green Beans, Thai Style, Mark Bittman, The New York Times

2 duck legs, trimmed
Salt and pepper
1 cup sliced shallots
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons nam pla or soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice, or to taste
Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
Crispy fried shallots, for garnish

1. Season duck legs with salt and pepper and place in a skillet over medium heat. Cover and cook until skin is well browned, about 30 minutes, lowering heat as necessary to produce a steady simmer. Turn duck legs and continue cooking until liquid is mostly evaporated and duck is tender, 60 to 90 minutes total.

2. Transfer duck to a plate and pour off all but a couple of tablespoons of fat. Turn heat to medium high, and add shallot; cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

4. Add 2 tablespoons water, sugar, fish sauce, and brussels sprouts. Place duck legs on top of sprouts mixture and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until sprouts are very tender, about 15 minutes, adding a little more water if necessary to keep mixture moist. Uncover and stir in lime juice; taste and adjust seasoning, then sprinkle with cilantro and serve. Serve with sliced chiles in fish sauce and crispy shallots for garnish.

Note: You can serve the duck on or off the bone. Good with rice, also surprisingly good with crusty bread.

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