Poached duck

Yesterday I tried making a chinese poached  duck.
Googled some recipes which brought back memories of the delicious “Teochew braise goose” in Hong Kong restaurants.
Trim duck of the unwanted fat. Cut off the “parson’s nose”. Salt to clean the duck…by rubbing it onto the outside and inside, picking off any tiny feathers as you go. Rinse.  Mix a spoonful of 5 spice powder and salt. Rub this into the cavity and the outside. Leave to marinate  for an hour or so. Rinse duck. Rub thick soya sauce on the outside and inside of duck . Place a few slices of smashed ginger into the cavity and truss the duck. Put in a clean freezer plastic bag and leave until cooking time. Make sure the duck is at room temperature before you start to cook it.
Poaching Liquid:
Heat water and sugar until it is caramel in color, taking care not to burn. Take it off stove.
Pour a tablespoon of fish sauce into the caramelised sugar. Add more water and let the sugar melt.
In a wok or heavy bottom pot that will fit the duck, throw in 4 or 5 cloves of unpeeled garlic, slices of fresh ginger, 2 pods of star anise, small piece of cinnamon back, and 2 or 3 stalks of spring onions (shallots).  Add the hot caramelised liquid, some light soya and dark soya – using your taste judgement for the salt level. Add enough water to barely cover the duck. Boil this mixture until it smells good. Add the duck, breast up. Bring the stock to a  gentle boil and spoon the stock onto the duck breast a few times. Turn flame down and cover the pot. After 30 minutes, flip duck (breast down) and  bring pot to a gentle boil. Turn flame down and cover and leave for another 20 minutes. Uncover, heat the stock to a gentle boil,  flip duck breast up. Check if duck is cooked. At the same time, dowse the cavity with the hot stock a few times.  Scoop some of the duck stock into another small pot. Defat this portion of the duck stock and reduce it. This will serve as a sauce for the rice or the duck. Leave duck in the original pot , cover and keep warm.  Chop duck and serve with pickled cucumber and vinegar sauce.
Pickled cucumber
Peel cucumber and slice. Mix with white vinegar, salt and sugar.
Vinegar dipping sauce for the duck
Crush a 2 cloves of garlic, slice a chilli. Pour some chinese rice vinegar into a pot, add salt and sugar (not too much as you want it to taste vinegary). Bring pot to a gently boil..taste and then pour over the bowl of garlic and chillies. This is a good dip as it cuts the richness of the duck.
Serve the reduced duck stock on the side.
The duck was tender and succulent and two of us almost ate the whole  duck in one sitting.
🙂 I am not sure I can repeat this.  I cook by instinct and do not measure quantities. Because of that dishes taste different each time.
Tip: You can use frozen ducks but the skin is unlikely to take on an even golden color .