Okay, this is admittedly a terrible name. I always cringe when I see any recipe that starts with “Japanese style” (replace Japanese with any country). It tells me that the creator either didn’t feel confident enough in the authenticity of the dish to give it its proper name, or they were just too lazy to come up with a better name for their new dish (which doesn’t bode well for the recipe). In this case it’s more the later than the former, but this one is tasty, I promise!
What the hell is a broast you ask? Well it’s a rather un-witty name I came up with for half braising / half roasting something. As it turns out, it’s also a trademarked technique of pressure frying chicken, but I’m too tired to think of a better name, so until someone posts a comment with a better name, this dish is forever blighted with its rather unoriginal trademark infringing name.
So how did it come to be? I had 4 duck legs sitting in the freezer waiting to be turned into confit, but I just wasn’t in the mood to do a real confit, so I started thinking of other ways I could cook this. One of my favourite Japanese dishes is Buta Kakuni (braised pork belly); it’s a great way to prepare fatty cuts of meat and duck legs squarly fit in that category.
One of the best parts of duck though is having crisp skin, and several hours of braising aren’t exactly conducive to that end. Braising then broiling won’t work because the skin would absorb too much moisture, and I could always braise and deep fry it, but I really didn’t feel like using up a quart of oil for 4 legs. So how could I make the the meat moist and fall-off-the-bone tender while having crisp golden brown skin? Broasting!
Broasting starts off with a quick browning under the broiler, then with just enough liquid to braise the meat half of the duck, it goes in the oven allowing the skin half to slowly roast, unimpeded by liquid. It finishes up with a few quick minutes under the broiler to make sure that the skin is nice and crisp.
It worked! The meat was tender and moist, with a thin layer of creamy melt-in-your-mouth fat, topped with a crisp layer of skin. It’s similar in flavour to its more porky cousin, but but the roasting intensifies the flavours of the dashi and soy sauce creating a slightly sweet glaze on top.
- Put all the ingredients for the braising liquid in a pot and cook for about 10-15 minutes.
- Put the oven rack in the upper middle position and turn the broiler on
- Pick an oven safe pan that will snugly hold your duck legs without overlapping. Place the smashed garlic at the bottom of the pan and arrange the duck legs over them, skin side up.
- Broil until the skin is brown and crispy, turning once if they are browning unevenly (about 10-15 minutes).
- Add enough stock to the pan to submerge the meat part of the legs, while leaving the top part of the skin exposed. You may have some stock left over (I used the left over stock when I made the rice).
- Turn down the oven to 250 F and braise for 2 hours or until the legs are fork tender.
- Take the pan out of the oven and skim off as much fat as you can (save this to use for cooking other things). When you're done skimming, all of the skin should be exposed, but if not, drain out some liquid. Put it under a broiler for about 5 minutes or until the skin is crisp.
- Serve over rice with some of the braising liquid.