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Peking Duck #3

ingredients

serves 8
2 kg (4 lb) duckling
45 ml (3 tbsp) honey
30 ml (2 tbsp) water
salt
bunch spring onions
1/2 cucumber, peeled and cut into thin, finger-like strips
16 Mandarin Pancakes
50 ml (2 fl oz) hoisin sauce
a little thick soy sauce to taste

method

1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and plunge in the duckling to scald the skin.

2. Carefully lift out and drain thoroughly.

3. Secure the legs with string and leave to drip over a bowl overnight in a cool dry place.

4. Blend the honey, water and salt together and use to brush over the duck skin.

5. Hang up again and leave for 2 - 3 hours.

6. Repeat and leave to dry completely for a further 3 - 4 hours.

7. Set the duck on a rack over a roasting tin and place in the centre of a hot oven 230°C (450°F) Gas 8.

8. Immediately reduce the oven temperature to moderate 180°C (350°F) Gas 4 and cook for 1 1/4 hours.

9. Check that the skin is crisp (do not baste the duckling) and, if you think it necessary, increase the oven temperature for the last 15 minutes.

10. Meanwhile remove the root from the spring onions. Cut in half lengthwise and cut in half again. Pop in ice cold water.

11. Prepare cucumber, drain and dry on paper towels. Prepare the mandarin pancakes and the sauce.

12. Carve the duckling at the table; traditionally only the skin was eaten, but these days most people carve the skin and meat together into 4 cm (1 1/2 in) pieces.

13. This is then dipped into the prepared sauce and deftly rolled up in a pancake with some of the spring onions before eating.

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