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Braised Duck With Mushrooms

1 Duck; 4 to 5 pounds
1/2 lb Fresh mushrooms
1 Or 2 Cloves garlic
2 tb Sherry
1 tb Soy sauce
1 ts Sugar
1 ts Salt
1 ds Pepper
3 -(up to) 4 tb Oil
2 tb Oil
2 -(up to) 3 c Stock
1 tb Cornstarch
3 tb Water
3 dr Sesame oil; more or less

Wipe duck with a damp cloth. With a cleaver chop duck, bones and all, in 2-inch sections. Stem mushrooms and cut in half. Crush garlic.

Combine sherry, soy sauce, sugar, salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large heavy pan and brown duck quickly. Add sherry-soy mixture and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove duck and seasonings from pan.

Heat remaining oil. Brown garlic lightly and discard. Add mushrooms and stir-fry to soften slightly. Then return duck and seasonings.

Add stock, bring to a boil; then simmer, covered, until done (about 45 minutes).

Blend cornstarch and cold water to a paste, then stir in to thicken sauce Stir in sesame oil and serve.

VARIATION: Use only 1/4 pound fresh mushrooms. Add 1 cup bamboo shoots and 1 cup celery, both diced; and 1/2 cup water chestnuts, sliced. In step 4, stir-fry vegetables 1 to 2 minutes; then return duck.

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