Szechuan Camphor-Wood And Tea Smoked Duck

Course : Chinese
Serves: 6
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4 slices root ginger
1/2 tablespoon peppercorns
4 pounds duck -- up to 5
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 tablespoons lard
4 tablespoons dried tea -- up to 5
3 tablespoons sugar
1 bunch camphor wood -- or
4 tablespoons camphor wood sawdust -- up to 5

Preparation / Directions:

Shred and chop the ginger. Roast the peppercorns in a dry roasting pan for 10 minutes in a moderate oven; crush and pound them lightly in a mortar. Rub the duck inside and out with half the salt, ginger and pepper. Leave to dry and season overnight. Mix the remaining seasoning with the lard until well-blended. Rub the mixture on the duck inside and out. Place the duck on a wire rack in a preheated moderate oven at about 400F (put a drip-pan underneath) and roast for 1 hour. SMOKING: Light the charcoal fire. When the charcoal is glowing red, but not blazing, sprinkle half the tea, sugar and camphor wood (twigs or sawdust) over the fire. Place the duck on a wire rack and suspend it a couple of inches above the fire. Invert the tin or bin over the duck and fire and let smoke for 10 minutes. Turn the duck over for a further 10 minute smoking, sprinkling the rest of the smoking mixture on the fire and poking and stirring it. By now the duck should be sufficiently smoked. Brush it with 2 tb sesame oil and put it in a moderate oven for a further 15 minutes of roasting. Serve by chopping through the bones into 15-20 large bite-size pieces or carve in the western manner. An excellent accompaniment to wine at the start or a multi-course dinner party or banquet. Adapted from a recipe from the Chengtu Dining Rooms, Chengtu. From Chinese Regional Cooking by Kenneth Lo, Pantheon Books, 1979.

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