Tim Maddams’ “Quackbang” curry - wild duck + Malasian flavours


DUCK CURRY - Credit: Archant

A delicious recipe from Tim Maddams that uses wild duck to create a slow cooked, Malaysian rendang-style curry that takes minutes to prepare and tastes incredible!


DUCK CURRY - Credit: Archant


* a little rapeseed oil

* 1 onion, roughly chopped

* 4 large cloves of garlic, chopped

* 3 inches chopped fresh ginger root (or half ginger, half galangal if you can get it)

* 2 tsp turmeric

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* 1 tsp cumin

* 1 tsp coriander

* 2 lemongrass stalks, thoroughly bruised

* 2 x 400ml tins good-quality organic coconut milk

* 1 cinnamon stick

* 6 cardamom pods

* 4 kaffir lime leaves

* 3–9 long, hot dried chillies, soaked in water and roughly chopped (or fresh chillies if you have them)

* salt

* 2 plucked and dressed mallard

* fresh coriander (as much, or as little, as you like)

* zest and juice of 2 limes


You want to know how easy this dish is to cook? Too easy. If I’m not careful I will be out of a job!

Place a pan large enough to fit the ducks in on the stove and bring to a moderate heat. Add the oil and sweat the onion, garlic, spices and lemongrass for a minute or two. Add the coconut milk and all the other ingredients, except the ducks, fresh coriander and the lime zest and juice. Bring this flavoursome mixture to a gentle simmer, then add the ducks. Bring back to a simmer and add a little salt. Place the lid on the pan and pop in the oven at 140°C for at least three hours or until the meat comes away easily from the bones. Add the lime juice and zest, then serve up with fresh coriander.

See, how easy was that? This works well in a slow cooker too, or even on the stove if you keep an eye on it as it cooks.


Now and again, to save on time, I put supper on to cook while I am out, or just while I am busy elsewhere around the house, office, garden or woods. We are all capable of bunging a stew or casserole in the oven, but why not take the Malaysian approach and spice up your supper a little? I know that to some of you it will seem like a crime to slow cook the whole plucked mallards suggested for this recipe, but honestly, it will be worth it, I promise. And it’s a great way of serving your hard-won wild ducks if you are uncertain about their age and flavour. Younger ducks roast fine; older birds do not. And diet massively affects flavour, which fluctuates due to habitat, location and the time of year at which the birds are shot, so why not give this a go? It’s ideal, too, if you have perhaps shot a few more ducks than normal and are getting a bit bored of roasted duck, which can easily happen these days with the odd duck drive making an appearance at more and more shoots. This recipe is loosely based on a rendang, which is a dish from Malaysia. It’s tasty and can be made very mild. It’s not called a rendang in our house, though; it’s called a quackbang.

In this recipe I have used two mallard, plucked and dressed in the usual fashion, but it works equally well with three wigeon or whatever you have in the way of ducks. This dish will easily feed six people and you can, of course, cut back on the chilli if you like and improvise with other ingredients if you don’t happen to have the exact ones listed. Essentials not to be left out though are the lemongrass, fresh if you can get it (I grow my own these days; it needs very little gardening talent to do so), ginger and coconut milk. The rest you can tinker with to your heart’s content. I tend to serve this dish with plain steamed rice and shredded coriander leaves, but flatbreads would work very well too.