Crispy Aromatic Duck

I have bought crispy aromatic duck lots of times in Chinese restaurants and it is our daughters favorite Chinese dish. The last day of our summer holiday this year our son tried for the first time and he was over the moon about the dish too. So I thought that I have to try to make it at home.
I was not sure if it was going to be a success or a failure. But I just had to try! And it was a success! My family loved it. It tasted better then the restaurant one our son said. And I have to admit it was delicious!

The day before you are cooking the duck you sprinkle it with lots of Chinese Five Spice, and salt and pepper – and sprinkle some ginger and some of the spice inside the cavity. I used 3 teaspoons of Five Spice mixture, 3 teaspoons of salt and some pepper.
Use the back of a spoon to really mash the Five Spice into the skin. Place the duck in a resealable plastic bag and leave in the fridge overnight . Remove the duck from the fridge 1-2 two hours before you want to cook it, so that the meat gets temperate. It will take longer to cook if it is removed straight from the fridge and placed in the oven.
Place the duck in an oven-proof dish.
First of all, you need to get the duck roasting in the oven.

 

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Place the duck into a 170 Celcius oven for about two hours. Keep an eye on it, and baste it occasionally. Then turn the oven up to 200 Celcius for about 15-20 minutes. This will make the skin go crispy. And that’s it. Remove the duck from the oven proof dish and carve . Then take a couple of forks and shred the meat and skin. Cover with foil, and put it back in the oven to keep warm. You can leave the oven on a low heat, if you like.

I bought pre made pancakes from my local Asian store. But you can make them your self I you want to. This recipe is a good one.
Pancakes:
Once the duck has been in for about 30 minutes, you can make the pancake dough. This recipe will make about 30 smallish pancakes. Method:
Put a kettle of water on boil. While waiting for the water to the boil, combine 300 g of plain flour and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a bowl. Measure out 240 ml of boiling water, and add it gradually to the flour, stirring with a fork as you go Keep pouring and mixing with a fork until the mixture starts to get sticky. Do not use all the water , once you have a sticky dough use your hands to squeeze the mixture together to form a rough dough.
Tip your dough out of the bowl onto the work surface, and give it a good kneading. Add more flour/water as required. It should end up quite smooth and elastic and non-sticky.
Cover with a clean tea towel or napkin, and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, you can start making the plum sauce. The following will make enough for 4 people.

Plum Sauce:
Take six large plums, and chop them in half. If you use smaller plums use 12 instead of 6 plums. Remove and discard the stones, and add the plums into a saucepan. Add 4-5 tablespoons of sugar, a dusting of Five Spice, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, half a teaspoon of chilli powder, and a little splash of water. Bring to the boil, and then simmer on a low heat for 30-45 minutes or until you have a thick plum sauce. Leave to cool.

Now it’s time to make the pancakes.
Cut your dough in half. Roll out the first half on a floured surface to about 3-4mm thick. If you have a round 7cm biscuit cutter, use it to cut circles out of the dough. if you don’t have biscuit cutter, you can use the top of a drinking glass.

Squeeze the off-cuts back together, re-roll, and re-cut until there is nothing left. Then do the same with the other half.

Put all the dough circles on a baking sheet, and brush the tops of each circle with sesame oil.
Take one circle, and sandwich it on top of another circle – sesame-oil coated sides together. Repeat with all remaining circles until they are all sandwiched together in pairs.

Now it’s time to fry the pancakes! You’ll need a large non-stick frying pan. Set it over a high heat – you won’t need any oil, just the dry pan.

Take one of your dough sandwiches. Don’t separate it – just roll it out, pressing one circle into the one below. Roll it as thin as you can – it won’t stick to the work surface due to the oil. The oil will also make it elastic, so it won’t break when you lift it, no matter how thin it gets. Pick up your rolled out pancake, and drop it into the hot pan.
Within 30 seconds or less, it will start to bubble in places, and possibly to blow up like a balloon. Turn it over with a spatula to cook the other side. You can tell when it’s cooked, because it will have nice brown spots on it. It will take about 40 seconds for each side.

Lift out, and place on a plate. Here’s the clever part – you can now separate the top pancake from the bottom pancake. Just run your finger between them to break the seal, let the steam escape, and then carefully peel the top pancake from the bottom pancake.
Cut cucumber and spring onion into fine strips.

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Serve the shredded duck with the pancakes, plum sauce, cucumber and spring onion.
It is really tasty!

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