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Crispy Duck With Apricot and Plum Sauce

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Origin of dish:  China
Type of cooking:  Oven
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4):

    4 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
    2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
    2 tbsp ground Sichuan peppercorns
    pinch of salt
    6 whole star anise
    1 tbsp dark soy sauce
    1 tbsp light soy sauce

    2 duck breasts – skin scored in a criss-cross pattern
    1 tbsp groundnut oil
    Salad leaves, to serve

    Apricot and plum sauce
    100ml water
    2 plums, stones removed, quartered
    50g dried chopped apricots
    2 tsp caster sugar
    1 tbsp honey
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 whole star anise
    Juice of 1 lime


1. Pop all the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl and stir it all in.
2. Marinate the duck, rubbing it into skin and flesh.
3. Chill in the fridge for 25 minutes to allow the marinade to permeate the meat.
4. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
5. Heat groundnut oil in a wok, then add the duck, skin-side down, and stirfry gently for 4 minutes or so.
6. Make sure the skin is nicely crisp and browned before placing it on a baking tray (skin-side up) and transfering to the oven.
7. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
8. To make the apricot and plum sauce, place the water into a small-sized saucepan to boil.
9. Add all the other ingredients (except the lime juice) and cook over a medium heat until it becomes sticky.
10. Take it off the hob and strain through a sieve.
11. Now add the lime juice, stirring in gently.
12. Take the duck breast from the oven and serve on a plate with the sauce drizzeled over.
13. Serve with salad leaves.
Advice: Inspired by Ching-He Huang from Chinese Food Made Easy

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