A few days ago, I shared pictures of our Boxing Day Party at home with a dear friend and fabulous pianist, Di Xiao, her sweet small family of three, and a lovely Chinese student Ying from Birmingham City University where John works. All my friends and some of John’s colleagues know that I LOVE to throw parties and I ENJOY entertaining
My friend Mira Brown lives somewhere north of Birmingham and could not make it to my party this year, but she was so enticed by the look and smell of our Roast Duck which my son Tao prepared that she asked for a recipe. Horror of horrors, neither Tao nor I follow recipes. We just make our own as we go along, and more often than not we manage to produce highly edible and super yum dishes
I have trained Tao well over the years. One of his very first lessons on arriving in the UK was that cooking was not a woman’s job, or mum’s duty alone – he HAD to cook! Thankfully he seemed to have a knack for it and it did not take long for him to ‘graduate’ from Junying’s Chef Training School with honours, and he’s now a competent chef in his own right, and roast duck is one of his signature dishes
Since Mira is keen to try her hand in roasting her own duck, and I’ve agreed to come up with some kind of recipe. I’m giving her a NYE surprise by offering a few cooking tips below.
- One whole duck (from supermarkets or organic farms)
- sea salt
- fresh ginger & garlic
- ground black pepper
- star anise, ground cloves etc./Mixed spices (see picture below)
- a pinch of sugar
- dried mushroom (optional)
- light & dark soy sauce
- Wash the duck, rinse it with water and pat it dry, inside and out.
- Rub sea salt over the skin, stuff ginger and garlic inside its cavity.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
- Trim off excess skin from the duck.
- Put the duck in a large roasting pot. Generously sprinkle pepper and the spice mixture over and around it, top to bottom, front and back, adding all ingredients listed above.
- Put the duck breast-side up in the pot. Pour enough boiling water over the duck.
- Cover the pot with lid or foil. Bake for 1 hour, flip it over, cover it again, and bake for another hour, or until it turned crispy and browned.
- Take the duck out from the oven and leave it for a few minutes to cool before serving.
- To serve, carve the duck into thin slices.
- To eat, wrap up bits of duck, cucumber and spring onion slices in steamed pancakes spread with Hoisin or oyster sauce.
Serving Roast Duck with
- cucumber, cut into thin, long slices;
- spring onions, shredded
- steamed pancakes
- hoisin sauce or oyster sauce from Chinese supermarket
Like Mira, I hope that you’ll experiment your own roast duck at home. It really is not as daunting a task as it sounds. All you need to do is to get basic ingredients and a bit of creativity. You can also try it with chicken, which takes less time to cook but just as tasty.
For more recipes to compliment this main festive dish, go to my World Recipes to see what other dishes you’d like to try.
Now that your duck is roasting in the oven, why don’t you treat your senses with this fabulous Chopin piece played by wonderful Classical Pianist Di Xiao :)