Braising the duck over low heat produces
tender, melt-in-mouth meat and a delicious sauce. If the heat is too high,
the duck will dry out and lot its flavor.
Dried Chinese mushrooms
Chinese rice wine
Strips fresh orange peel
Soak the mushrooms in hot water for 20
minutes. Drain well and slice.
Using a large heavy knife or cleaver, chop
the duck into small pieces, cutting through the bone.
Arrange the pieces on a rack and pour
boiling water over them. The water will plump up the skin and help keep
the duck succulent. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
Brush the base of a heavy-based frying pan
with the oil. Add the duck in 2 or 3 batches and cook over medium heat
for about 8 minutes, turning regularly, until browned. (The darker the
browning at this stage, the better the color when finished)
Between each batch, wipe out the pan with
crumpled paper towels to remove excess oil.
Wipe the pan with paper towels again and
return all the duck to the pan.
Add the mushrooms, soy sauce, wine, sugar
and orange peel.
Bring the mixture to the boil, reduce the
heat, cover and simmer gently for 35 minutes or until the duck is
Carefully skim off any surface oil. Season
with salt and pepper to taste, and stand for 10 minutes, covered, before
Remove the duck from the sauce and discard
the orange peel. Pick off small sprigs of the watercress and arrange
them on one side of a large serving platter.
Carefully place the duck segments on the
other side of the platter - try not to place the duck on the watercress
as it will become soggy.
Carefully spoon a little of the sauce over
the duck and serve.