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PEKING DUCK


(SERVES 6–8)


INGREDIENTS


1 duck (around 1.2 kg) sea salt


Chinese five spice ½ cucumber


1 bunch spring onions pre-made pancakes


For the plum sauce ½ tbsp olive oil


3 spring onions, finely chopped 1 red chilli, finely chopped 12 destoned plums 4 tbsp caster sugar 1 star anise


½ cinnamon stick 2 tbsp soy sauce


2 tbsp rice wine vinegar grated zest of 1/2 an orange


METHOD


– Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. Rub the duck with a liberal amount of salt, inside and out, and season all over with five spice. Place the duck in a deep roasting tray and roast in the oven for 4 hours. I start mine breast-side down for 30 minutes, then turn it over for the remainder. Spoon away the excess fat that has rendered out of the duck a couple of times during the cooking, as this will ensure that the skin goes crispy. Alternatively, you can achieve the same result by putting a rack inside the roasting tray which raises the duck out of the fat. – For the plum sauce, heat the oil in a non-stick pan and fry the spring onions and chilli for 2-3 minutes until soft, then add the plums with the sugar, star anise, cinnamon, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10-12 minutes, by which time it will look like soft-set jam. Add a little water if you think it is too thick or simmer for a little longer if not thick enough. Add the grated orange zest and leave to cool. – Finely slice the cucumber and spring onions into long matchsticks. – Once the duck isn’t too hot to handle, use two forks to shred all the meat off the carcass onto a serving plate. – When you’re ready to serve, heat the pancakes in a steamer or microwave. Then the assembly is up to you: I say spoon the sauce on to the pancake, spread it around a bit, add the duck, then the greenery, roll up and tuck in.


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