Red-Roast Duck With Baby Bok Choy Recipe
Copyright Blue Ginger, 1999 Clarkson Potter
This spectacularly fragrant duck dish celebrates Chinese red roasting and French confit making.
A red roast, which is in face a super braise, derives its special character from the use of dark soy sauce (the source of the duck’s ‘red’ color), Shaoxing wine and rock sugar. The duck, red roasted until its meat is velvet, ends up confitlike, but without the stewing in fat that preparation entails. I’ve added baby bok choy and some chile heat to the duck, which underline the dish’s Asian origins and ensure that people who eat it will be very, very happy!
Beverage tip: Spicy, dried-cherry Shiraz/Syrah Australian (Brokenwood Hermitage)
1 bottle dry red wine
2 cups Shaoxing wine, or 1 cup dry sherry
1 cut dark soy sauce
3 cups soy sauce
4 cups water
1 large duck, about 6 pounds
2 boxes (about 3 pounds) rock sugar, or 2 cups dark brown sugar
1 5-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into ¼-inch slices
1 whole head garlic, unpeeled and halved horizontally
2 bunches scallions, white parts sliced into 3-inch lengths, green parts sliced
1/8 inch thick
2 star anise
4 Thai bird chiles
2 cinnamon sticks
8 baby bok choy, halved and cored
- In a large, deep pot, combine the wines, soy sauces, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat and add the duck. If the liquid doesn’t cover the duck, add more water. Bring to a boil again, then reduce the heat and simmer, skimming the liquid until no more scum forms, about 30 minutes.
- Add the rock sugar, ginger, garlic, long scallion pieces, star anise, chiles, and cinnamon sticks. Stir to dissolve the sugar and taste the liquid for sweetness. It should be pleasantly sweet; if not sweet enough, add more sugar. Place a second pot or stainless steel bowl half-filled with water into the first to keep the duck submerged and simmer until the duck is very tender and almost falling from the bone 2 ½ to 3 hours. Do not overcook or the meat will come apart. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the bok choy.
- Using a large-mesh spoon, carefully remove the duck and bok choy to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm Strain and skim the stock, return it to the pot, and reduce it over high heat until lightly syrupy, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer the duck to a serving platter and surround it with the bok choy. Glaze the duck with the sauce, garnish it with the scallion greens, and serve.