Ever wonder how to cook a duck? It sounds a bit exotic, but it's not scary to make. There are so many ways to prepare duck, from the traditional to modern style recipes. When we think of making Roast Duck, we often think of 2 ways of preparing duck. A recipe similar to roast chicken (but with duck), or a Peking duck recipe. Either way, we're not really sure how to proceed. After all, it's poultry! How hard can it be?
This roast duck recipe isn't either of those recipes, and it's jam packed with flavor. This recipe is initially braised in a Master Stock, then roasted to crisp up the duck skin. A Master Stock is called master for a reason, the flavors are out of this world.
What is Master Stock?
Master Stock is made by braising a variety of different meats in a prepared flavored stock over time. As it gets used again and again, the depth of flavor intensifies. It's incredibly easy to make. Some restaurants in China boast that they have Master Stock that is over 100 years old. You just keep topping up the key ingredients from the original stock.
Typical ingredients are Soy Sauce, Garlic, Ginger, Cassia bark (cinnamon sticks), Star Anise and Shaoxing wine. Some recipes get more elaborate and use dried mandarin peels and rock sugar. Many restaurants have secret Master Stock recipes. You can use different types of meat, not only duck. Use whole chicken, try a beef brisket, pork, and my favorite.... potatoes.
Which Vegetables with Roast Duck?
When you make a Master Stock, I promise you won't want to throw it away. Even if you don't use it another day, you can still get a second use out of it. I peel potatoes and par-boil them in the stock to infuse them with all these amazing flavors. Then coat with olive oil and oven roast until crispy. Check out my Chinese Crispy Roast Potatoes, the perfect accompaniment to Crispy Braised Duck. I always want carbs with Roast Duck, and this Chinese spin on roasted potato works perfectly.
Can You Freeze Master Stock?
This is my preferred method of keeping Master Stock for future use. I don't use it often enough to keep in the fridge for long periods. It keeps for about a week in the fridge, before it needs to be thrown out and started from scratch. Freezing is the best way to preserver the stock. After each use, strain the stock and freeze until ready to use it again. Just bring it to a boil before adding in your next batch of meat.
This is a traditional method of braising a duck, which produces a wonderful Master Stock. I promise you will want to use it again and again. My version of a Cantonese Style Braised Duck that is roasted to perfection. It's a flavor explosion, not just for the holidays but delicious any day of the week. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Roast Duck Braised in a Master Stock
- 3 litres water
- 1 ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 ½ cup Shaoxing wine Chinese cooking wine
- ¾ cup Chinese Sweet Soy Kicap Manis
- 5 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 garlic cloves crushed
- large knob ginger sliced
- 2 green onions chopped
- Place all the Master Stock ingredients into a stock pot, bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for about 20 minutes. This allows the flavors to combine together.
- While the stock is simmering, prepare the duck. Remove the neck and fatty tail. Place 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or a pan. Sear the duck, like you would sear a piece of meat for a slow cooker. After a few minutes, turn the duck over. On parts of the duck that don't reach the pan, spoon some hot oil on them. The skin will crisp up slightly as the fat renders from the duck. Remove from heat.
- Bring the Master Stock to a boil in a large stock pot. Place the seared duck into the stock. Most of the duck will be covered by liquid. If it's not fully covered, that's ok. Reduce to a simmer and cook the duck for 60 minutes. Flip the duck over every 15 minutes to ensure each side is evenly braised in the Master Stock. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
- Carefully remove the duck from the stock. Ensure the hot liquid is out of the duck cavity. Place on a roasting pan and roast in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until the skin is crispy. Don't let it burn, check at the 10 minute mark.
- Serve with rice, steamed greens and Chinese Roasted Potatoes. Set aside some Master Stock to serve with the duck.