This is a classic and it’s really not as difficult as it sounds — just a few steps and away you go. You need to loosen the skin from the meat, blow the duck up with a bike pump, glaze the skin, dry the duck, fill the cavity with hot broth so it steams from within and roast — what could be easier!
There’s a reason it’s one of the most loved duck dishes in the world — it tastes bloody fantastic. You can take the skin and meat off the bone to serve with mandarin pancakes, hoisin, cucumber batons and spring onions; Peking duck in other words.
Remove the fat from the cavity of the duck. Put the bird breast-side-up on a chopping board, with the legs facing you. Massage the skin on the breasts and legs for about 5 minutes (this helps loosen the connecting tissue between the skin and the meat). Make a small slit in the skin. Carefully work a chopstick under the skin and down the breast and over the legs to loosen the skin without tearing it. Once the skin is loose, rub the meat of the duck (under the skin) with Sichuan salt and pepper and position the star anise and cinnamon sticks in between the meat and the skin.
Secure the rear cavity of the duck with a bamboo or metal skewer, as if you were sewing cloth together. Tie a double piece of string firmly around the top of the neck, above the slit, leaving one end long. Tie off the neck below the slit using a slip knot, and insert a drinking straw or the tube of a bicycle pump into the slit. Inflate the cavity you have made between the skin and the body of the duck and, when fully inflated, tighten the second string around the neck to make it airtight.
To make the maltose mixture, put the maltose, soy sauce, rice vinegar and
To serve, chop the duck Chinese-style and pour the reserved juice over the top.
© 2008 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.