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Sherry-Braised Duck with Aromatic Spices

Source: Gatherings & Celebrations
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Active Time:  30 Minutes
Total Time:  3 Hours 10 Minutes
  Makes 4 servings
One (3-4 pound) Long Island duck, fresh or frozen and defrosted
6 scallions
1 1/2 cups dry sherry
1/3 cup soy sauce
6 quarter-size slices peeled ginger
3 whole star anise
2 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons sugar
8 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into 1/2 moons
Remove the gizzards and neck from the cavity of the duck. Trim the excess fat and skin from the duck's neck and tail. Cut off and discard the wing tips and tail. Pierce the duck skin all over with the tines of a fork to help render the fat.

Heat a large skillet or wok. Carefully lower the duck, breast side down, into the pan and sear the duck over medium heat until it is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Poke a wooden spoon into the duck and rotate the bird onto its side. Brown the bird for 5 to 7 minutes. Rotate and brown the bird on the other side and then the back, until all sides have been well browned and most of the duck fat has been rendered. Transfer the duck to a plate and discard the rendered fat.

Lay the scallions in the center of a casserole that will fit the duck snugly. Place the duck breast side down on the bed of scallions. (The scallions provide a buffer so the duck skin doesn't scorch.) Add the sherry, soy sauce, ginger, and star anise, bring to a boil, and then add 1 1/2 cups of the water. Reduce the heat so the liquid simmers gently. Baste the bird with the sauce, cover, and simmer the duck for 1 1/2 hours. Check the duck periodically to make sure the sauce is not simmering too quickly, and to baste the bird.

After the duck has simmered for 1 1/2 hours, poke a wooden spoon into the cavity and turn the bird onto its back. Add the sugar to the braising liquid. Baste the duck and continue to braise, covered, for another hour. Check periodically to make sure the sauce is simmering gently and to baste the duck.

Bring the remaining 1 cup of water to a boil and pour it into a bowl with the dried shiitake mushrooms. Set aside for 20 minutes to hydrate. Once the mushrooms are soft, trim and discard their tough stems.

When the duck is fully tender, carefully remove it to a plate with a pair of tongs and cover it with foil to keep warm. Strain the sauce and skim the fat from the surface, or pour the liquid through a degreasing cup.

Return the sauce to the pan and simmer it with the mushrooms and turnip for 10 minutes.

To serve, slice the duck into serving pieces and arrange it on a large platter. Spoon the sauce and vegetables over the duck and serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Doubleday. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Makes 4 servings
Calories: 1441
Fat. Total: 125g
Fiber: 5g
Carbohydrates, Total: 25g
Sodium: 1449mg
% Cal. from Fat: 78%
Cholesterol: 241mg
Protein: 40g
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