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Braised Duck (in Parts)

1 Duck; 4 to 5 pounds
1/2 tb Sugar
2 tb Sherry
2 tb Hoisin sauce
1 ts Cornstarch
1 ts Salt
2 Or
3 Scallions
1 Clove garlic
1 Or
2 sl Fresh ginger root
3 -(up to)
4 tb Oil
4 tb Soy sauce
3 c Water

With a cleaver, split duck down the back; then chop each half, bones and all, in 4 or 5 pieces. Combine sugar, sherry, hoisin sauce, cornstarch and salt. Rub over duck and let stand 30 minutes.

Cut scallions in 1/2-inch sections; crush garlic and ginger root.

Heat oil in a large heavy pan. Add scallions, garlic and ginger and stir-fry a few times. Add duck and brown lightly on all sides. Drain off excess fat.

Add soy sauce and water and simmer, covered, until tender (45 minutes to 1 hour).

VARIATIONS: During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add any of the following:

1 to 2 cups bamboo shoots, cubed or sliced

4 cups Chinese lettuce, cut in 1-inch sections

1 pound chestnuts, blanched and shelled

6 eggs, hardboiled and shelled but left whole

8 to 10 dried black mushrooms (soaked)

During the last 20 minutes of cooking, add any of the following:

2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut in 2-inch cubes

1 pound string beans, stemmed but left whole

During the last 3 minutes of cooking add 1 green pepper, diced

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