Duck Wings, Harissa, and Cucumber-Mint Raita

Adapted by
December 2010
Yield: 6 to 8 Servings


Duck Wings
5 pounds duck wing drumettes
1 ounce kosher salt
½ ounce granulated sugar
5 sliced garlic cloves
10 sprigs thyme
6 cups duck fat
4 ounces dried chipotle peppers
2 ounces dried ancho peppers
2 ounces dried chile de arbol peppers
1 teaspoon toasted caraway seeds
1 teaspoon toasted coriander seeds
½ teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
10 garlic cloves
granulated sugar
lemon juice
Cucumber-Mint Raita
½ cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 minced shallot
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
To Assemble and Serve
½ cup canola oil
½ pound butter, cold
2 cups all-purpose flour


For the Duck Wings:
Using a cleaver, chop about ½ inch off the narrow end of the drumettes. Marinate the wings with the salt, sugar, garlic and thyme, and refrigerate 8 hours (or overnight). The next day, preheat the oven to 275̊ F. Melt the duck fat in a heavy-bottomed casserole or Dutch oven large enough to hold all the duck wings. Add the duck wings to the melted fat and continue to heat on the stovetop until the fat reaches a temperature of 250̊ F. Cover the pot or casserole with a lid or foil and put into the oven. Cook for approximately 4 hours, or until the wings are tender. Remove the pot from the oven and leave at room temperature until cool. Drain the wings from the fat and reserve the fat for another use. Put the room-temperature wings on a sheet tray and reserve in the refrigerator.

For the Harissa:
Preheat the oven to 350̊ F. Bring a pot of water to boil. Briefly toast the chilies in the oven. Remove the seeds and stems and discard. Pour the boiling water over the toasted and cleaned chilies. Cover them and let them sit for 20 minutes. Finely grind the caraway, coriander, and cumin seeds. Purée the chilies, spices, extra virgin olive oil and garlic in a VitaPrep, using just enough of the soaking liquid from the chilies so that the resulting purée is smooth. Season the purée with salt, sugar and lemon juice. Store the resulting Harissa in the refrigerator. This will yield 3 cups, more than you will need for 5 pounds of duck wings, but it keeps well in the refrigerator.

For the Cucumber-Mint Raita:
In a mixing bowl, combine the cucumber, shallot, cilantro, mint, Greek yogurt, and lime juice until well combined. Store the Cucumer-Mint Raita in the refrigerator.

To Assemble and Serve:
Heat the canola oil in a large Dutch oven to 350̊ F. Warm ½ cup of the Harissa in a saucepot and add the cold butter. Reserve this sauce in a warm space. Dredge the Duck Wings in the flour and drop into the hot oil in the Dutch oven. The wings take about 4 to 5 minutes to cook. Once the wings have crisped up, remove them from the oil and drain of any excess oil. Toss the wings in a mixing bowl with the warm harissa-butter mixture. Plate the Duck Wings and Harrisa. Fill a ramekin or sauce dish with the Cucumber-Mint Raita for dipping and serve it alongside the wings.