As part of my attempt to introduce new recipes into my kitchen I decided to try one of my husband's favourite Chinese dishes. Crispy Duck with pancakes.
It needs a bit of time - a few days !!- to do the prep, but its actually a fairly simple recipe to follow.
2 - 2.5kg duck
50g soft brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Chinese 5 spice
2.5 g piece ginger peeled and grated (I used ground ginger from a jar)
2 star anise
For the Brining solution
140g brown sugar
300ml Chinese rice vinegar
2 spring onions cut into strips
1 cucumber cut into strips
How to do it...
Clean the duck washing the inside and then drying with paper towels.
Using a sharp skewer prick the skin all over.
Holding the duck by the neck pour boiling water over the skin. This tightens the skin and helps to produce the characteristic crispy skin.
Dissolve the 140g brown sugar in 200ml warm water and add the rice vinegar and 700ml cold water.
Put the duck in a large plastic bag and pour in the brining solution.
Chill for 3 hours or up to 24 hours turning over a few times.
Remove the duck from the bag and pat dry.
Leave the duck on a rack over a tray uncovered in the fridge overnight.
Before cooking remove from the fridge for an hour to let the duck get to room temp.
Combine the sugar and salt and five spice and rub this thoroughly inside the duck.
chop the shallots roughly and put inside the duck with the ginger and star anise.
Close up the end of the duck using a skewer.
Cook the duck on the rack over the tray in a 130 - 150C degree oven for 2 hours 15 mins.
Increase the oven heat to 220C degrees and cook for a further 15 mins to crisp up the skin.
If you want the duck even crispier you can heat some peanut oil until hot enough to cook a cube or bread and carefully spoon this over the duck.
I made a mistake here, I forgot to buy peanut oil and thought I could just use the oil that had dripped into the roasting tray.... this left black bits on the skin of the duck (you can see it in the photos) It didn't change the taste, but it wasn't as visually appealing as I had hoped.
Serve rolled in the pancakes with a drizzle of the hoisin sauce, cucumber and spring onions.
I also fried some Bak Choi (called crispy seaweed in Cantonese restaurants) as a starter. I just cut the green part into fine strips and fried it in about 10 cm of oil. it cooks very quickly so fish it out as soon as it changes colour.
It was a huge success. The flavour was amazing, the duck was moist and the kitchen smelt like a Chinese restaurant. Hubby loved it, and there was way too much for just the two of us so my Brother In Law came over and had a take away too. I'll definitely be making this again, especially since the duck was relatively inexpensive in the wholesale food store I'v started using.
If you give it a try, let me know how you get on. Enjoy.
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