2 duck breasts
50g frozen peeled chestnuts
50g lotus roots sliced
2 slices ginger
1 clove garlic
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon sichuan pepper
1 teaspoon red rice (optional)
1 piece of dried orange peel
1 teaspoon fennel
1 tablespoon dark soy (thick caramel variety)
½ tablespoon sugar
¼ cup light soy
2 cups water
1 stalk spring onion
salt, to taste
5 spice, to taste
dark soy, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Dry the duck breasts with paper towel and marinade in bowl. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Using a non-stick pan, fry the fillets skin side down in their own fat until slightly brown. Drain and leave aside.
In a saucepan, fry garlic and ginger in a bit of oil in low heat. Add the rest of the spices and slow fry until fragrant.
Add the dark soy and sugar and stir constantly to avoid burning the caramel in low heat for 1–2 minutes until mixture turns into molasses. Place duck fillets into the mixture until it is evenly coated with molasses.
Add light soy and water and spring onion stalk and bring the stock to simmer and add a pinch of salt, to taste. Keep it in very low simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and keep duck meat in covered stock for an hour for flavour to soak in.
Blanch and boil chestnuts and lotus roots until soft. Strain a ladle of the duck stock onto a pan and reduced to sauce consistency. Add in the chestnuts and lotus roots to sauce.
To plate, slice duck breasts into fan slices. If desired, the meat can still be pink.
Spoon the sauce with the chestnuts and lotus roots over it and garnish with fresh orange peel or star anise and cinnamon sticks.