Allow me to brag for just a moment: These are the best damn duck tacos you will ever eat. Bold statement, I know. But it’s true. The rich flavor of a mallard breast grilled medium-rare and covered with soft white onion and pungent garlic chili oil will leave you reaching for another. And another. Better hope you have plenty of ducks in the freezer. You can read the full recipe below, but here’s a quick walkthrough of how it’s done.
What You Will Need
4 duck breasts, skin on
1 large white onion
Mojo de Ajo (see below)
Garnish: pickled red onions, radish slices, lime wedges
For the Mojo de Ajo:
2 fresh Cayenne peppers
½ tsp. black peppercorns
½ tsp. dried Mexican oregano
1 cup olive oil
12–15 garlic cloves, smashed
½ cup diced tomato
¼ cup orange juice
Prep the grill by lighting the coals, or preheat it to high. While the grill heats, make three to four diagonal slices through the duck skins, and cut the onion into thick slices. Brush both the duck and onion with oil from the mojo de ajo (directions below). Next, season the duck and onion with kosher salt, then let rest.
Once the grill is hot, wipe the grates with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil. Then, set the duck, skin down, and onions on the grill and cook for 2–3 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2–3 minutes, or until the duck is medium-rare. Next, transfer the duck and onions to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice the duck and onions, then strain 2 Tbsp. of garlic from the mojo de ajo and drizzle over the onions.
Serve the duck and onions in warm tortillas and topped with queso fresco. Garnish with your choice of pickled red onions and sliced radishes, and a squeeze of lime juice.
For the Mojo de Ajo: Cut the stems from the chilies and remove the seeds. Toast the peppercorns and oregano in a skillet over medium heat just until fragrant, then transfer them to a spice grinder and process to a powder. Pour olive oil into a saucepan and add the garlic. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring until the garlic softens and turns light brown. Add the tomato and orange juice, along with the ground-pepper blend and diced peppers. Cook for another 2 minutes, and let cool before using.