AMANDA’S PEKING DUCK
1 x 2-2.4 kg duck, fresh or frozen
1.2 l water
150 ml Chinese black rice vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
3 tablespoon malt/maltose sugar (or honey)
3 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1½ tablespoon coarse salt
2½ tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
2 tablespoon roasted ground Sichuan peppercorns (or use a blend of 2 tbsp mixed black peppercorns and coriander seeds)
24 spring onions, cut into brushes
6 tablespoon Hoisin sauce (or sweet bean sauce)
(You will need a meat hook)
If the duck is frozen, thaw it thoroughly. Rinse the duck well and blot it completely dry with kitchen paper. Insert a meat hook near the neck.
Bring the water and vinegar to the boil in a large pot. Hold the duck by the hook over the pot and, using a large ladle, carefully pour this mixture over the outside of the duck several times, as if to bathe it, until all the skin is completely coated with the mixture.
Reserve the mixture.
Hang the duck in a cool, well-ventilated place overnight.
The next morning, bring the reserved water-vinegar liquid to the boil, add the sugar (or honey) and soy sauce and again bathe the duck skin and leave to dry for at least 2-3 hours more.
Once the duck has dried, the surface of the skin will feel like parchment.
Mix the salt, five-spice and peppercorns together and rub this mixture evenly inside the cavity of the duck.
Preheat the oven to 240°C.
Meanwhile, place the duck on a roasting rack in a roasting pan, breast side up.
Pour 150 ml of water into the pan (this will prevent the fat from splattering).
Roast for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 180°C and continue to roast for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Optional but definitely give it a go with your Spring-rolls:
While the duck is roasting, make the spring onion brushes.
Cut off and discard the green part of the spring onion then trim off the base.
You should be left with a 7.5 cm white segment.
Make a length ways cut of about 2.5 cm long at one end of the spring onion.
Roll the spring onion 90° C and cut again.
Repeat this process at the other end.
Soak the cut spring onions in iced water and they will curl into brushes.
Pat them dry before use.
Remove the duck from the oven and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before you carve it.
Using a cleaver or a sharp knife, cut the skin and meat into pieces and arrange them on a warm platter.
Serve at once with Chinese pancakes, spring onion brushes and a bowl of Hoisin sauce (or sweet bean sauce).
Recipe and photo: Amanda Conradie – Dit is defnitief al die werk en moeite werd!!