Duck: Chinese Pressed Duck

posted by BarbCA 10-13-100 9:43 AM

Chinese Pressed Duck

Duck preparation:
1 young duck, 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 lbs. Split in half.
4 quarts water
2 tablespoons five spice powder
4 slices fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup dark soy sauce (Use Chinese Soy Sauce like Pearl River or Koon Chun if available)
3 scallions, cut in half, including green ends.

In a large pot bring all ingredients except duck to a boil. Add duck and bring to a boil again. Turn to simmer, cover and cook 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove from liquid and let cool. Remove bones. The duck will be done at this point and bones will come out easily.

Cooking directions:

2/3 cup water chestnut flour. (Available in Oriental grocers or by mail order.)
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 egg whites beaten until frothy
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 cup stock or chicken broth
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup roasted nuts (almonds, cashews or walnuts lightly roasted and crushed. I prefer almonds)
oil for deep frying

Mix flour and cornstarch together. Put through a flour sifter if necessary to remove lumps.
Brush the boned duck halves with the beaten egg white. Sprinkle the flour mixture onto both sides of the duck halves to cover evenly.

Place duck on platter and steam covered for 20 minutes. This steaming cooks the coating on the duck and makes for crispness. Let cool. Dry off any moisture with paper towels. (Duck can now be refrigerated until just before serving time.)

Make gravy in saucepan with oyster sauce, stock and cornstarch. Set aside and keep hot.

Heat oil for deep frying to 350 to 375F. Carefully slip duck halves into the oil with long tongs. Be careful and stand back. Oil may spatter. Fry until golden brown and crisp. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Cut across duck into strips and arrange on serving platter, retaining duck shape. Pour over gravy and top with crushed nuts.

Note: Don't throw out the duck liquid. I freeze it and use it later to make Red Cooked dishes. You can use beef, pork, chicken, and even hardboiled eggs and just simmer them until tender. Cold Red Cooked Chicken cut into slices makes a very tasty appetizer. Just keep using over and over adding more water and soy sauce as needed. It grows in complexity and flavor each time it's used.

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