This was divine (and I missed half the ingredients out (because I am a fanny!) of the marinade and it was still gorgeous!!). I just love duck and this is so simple. The sauce is great too – put it in the pot and bubble. Really recommend this for a novice cook – lots of ingredients, but easy to do as you really do just have to follow the instructions.
The only ingredient we couldn’t find was the special peppercorns (we used black, a poor substitute), but will keep trying. The chef says you can get all ingredients in a supermarket, but not Tesco Dundee Riverside, that’s for sure!
This recipe was from Chinese Food Made Easy by Ching-He Huang.
For the marinade
4 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
2 tbsp ground Sichuan peppercorns
pinch of salt, to taste (optional)
6 whole star anise
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
For the duck
2 duck breasts, skin scored in a criss-cross pattern
1 tbsp groundnut oil
For the apricot and plum sauce
100ml/3½fl oz water
2 plums, stones removed, quartered
50g/2oz dried apricots, chopped
2½ tsp caster sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 whole star anise
1 lime, juice only
1. For the marinade, place all of the marinade ingredients into a bowl and whisk well to combine.
2. For the duck, place the duck into the bowl with the marinade, cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for 20-25 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
4. Heat a wok until smoking and add the groundnut oil, then add the duck skin-side down and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until the skin is browned and crisp. Transfer the duck onto a baking tray, skin side up, and cook in the oven for 3-4 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.
5. For the apricot and plum sauce, place the water into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the plums, apricots, sugar, honey, cinnamon stick and star anise and cook over a medium heat until reduced to a sticky sauce. Take off the heat, strain through a sieve and stir in the lime juice. Discard the spices left behind in the sieve.
6. To serve, place a duck breast onto each serving plate, pour the sauce over the duck and serve.