Braised Duck Tacos (Tacos de Carnitas de Pato)

Tacos de Carnitas de Pato (Braised Duck Tacos)
Tacos de Carnitas de Pato (Braised Duck Tacos)
Slowly braised duck infused with the aroma of Mexican cinnamon and orange is shredded and pan-fried until crisp in this recipe from chef Roberto Santibanez. Get the recipe for Tacos de Carnitas de Pato »Helen Rosner

Slowly braised duck infused with the aroma of Mexican cinnamon and orange is shredded and pan-fried until crisp in this recipe from chef Roberto Santibanez. It first appeared in the iPad edition of our December 2013 issue with the story The World of Duck.

Braised Duck Tacos (Tacos de Carnitas de Pato)
Slowly braised duck infused with the aroma of Mexican cinnamon and orange is shredded and pan-fried until crisp in this recipe from chef Roberto Santibanez.
Yield: serves 6

Ingredients

  • 3 lb. duck legs
  • 1 12 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced, plus one small, finely chopped
  • 1 (4") piece Mexican cinnamon, broken in half
  • 1 medium orange, quartered
  • 12 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 34 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Salsa, such as tomatillo and pineapple or peach pico de gallo, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Combine duck, 1 12 tbsp. salt, plus garlic, sliced onion, and cinnamon in a 6-qt. Dutch oven. Squeeze the orange quarters over the duck and add the spent oranges to the pot; toss to combine and arrange duck skin side up. Cook, covered, until duck is very tender, about 2 12–3 hours. Let duck cool in the pot, then transfer to a cutting board. Shred meat into large chunks, discarding skin and bones. Strain pan drippings through a fine-mesh sieve into a measuring cup; chill until fat solidifies on the surface. Reserve 14 cup fat; save remaining fat for another use.
  2. Heat reserved duck fat in a 12” skillet over medium-high heat. Cook duck, stirring occasionally, until slightly crispy, 3–5 minutes. Season with salt; pile into warm tortillas and garnish with chopped onion, cilantro, and lime wedges. Serve with salsa, if you like.