Lettuce Wraps with Duck

Perfect for a Chinese New Year celebration


1 head of Bibb lettuce (though oak leaf, romaine and iceberg will do)
1/4 lb duck skin, thinly sliced
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp minced jalapeno
1 lb ground duck meat, seasoned with 2 tsp of salt and 1 tsp chinese 5-spice powder,
massaged into the meat
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts
1/2 cup chopped toasted cashews
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
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1. Wash the whole lettuce leaves, pat them dry, and reserve. If using romaine, removing the thick center ribs makes the wrapping to come that much easier.

2. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the duck skin and allow the fat to render. Remove the skin when it is crisp, crumble, and reserve.

3. Return the pan to medium heat and add the garlic, ginger and jalapeno, stirring to prevent burning and sauté until fragrant, about 60-90 seconds. Turn the heat to high and then add the ground duck meat, stirring the blend with the aromatic ingredients.

4. When the meat is cooked through, remove from heat and add the vinegar, sesame oil, water chestnuts, cashews, green onions, and reserved crumbled skin. Toss all ingredients well to mix and allow flavors to meld.

5. Serve filling with the prepared lettuce leaves. Fill the leaves as bowls or make taco-style of rolls as the leaf allows. Topping each with a mandarin orange slice is an easy way to incorporate mandarin oranges into the New Year's feast!

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