Based on the Hunanese eight-treasure duck but a little less complicated, this is our idea of a very modern Australian festive centrepiece. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.
- 100 gm blanched peanuts
- 300 gm white sticky rice, soaked overnight in cold water, drained
- 15 gm dried black fungus, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes
- 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes
- 10 gm dried prawns, soaked in cold water for 20 minutes
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 lap cheong, diced (see note)
- 100 gm firm tofu, diced
- 20 gm (4cm piece) ginger, cut into julienne
- 10 canned water chestnuts, drained, diced
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 60 ml Shaoxing wine
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1½ tsp Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
- 1 duck (about 2kg), boned (see note)
- To serve: chrysanthemum leaves (see note)
- 2 telegraph cucumbers, halved lengthways, seeds removed and thickly sliced
- 8 radishes, quartered
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Chinkiang vinegar (see note)
- 2 tsp Chiu Chow chilli oil (optional; see note)
- 1½ tsp caster sugar
- 1Preheat oven to 180C. Place peanuts on a tray and roast, shaking occasionally, until golden (8-12 minutes). Set aside.
- 2Steam sticky rice in a steamer over a saucepan of boiling water until tender and sticky (15-20 minutes).
- 3Meanwhile, drain mushrooms, squeeze out excess moisture, coarsely chop and set aside. Repeat with prawns.
- 4Increase oven to 200C. Heat oil in a wok until smoking, then add lap cheong, tofu and ginger and stir-fry until starting to turn golden (1 minute), add mushroom and prawn and stir-fry (10-20 seconds), then add peanuts, water chestnut, spring onion, Shaoxing and soy sauce and stir to combine. Add sticky rice and ¼ tsp Sichuan pepper and stir to combine. Set aside to cool completely.
- 5Place duck skin-side down on a chopping board and press rice mixture into a log shape on duck. Fold duck over to enclose, secure with toothpicks and kitchen string then roll onto a baking tray lined with foil. Sprinkle with remaining Sichuan pepper, season with salt and roast, basting occasionally, until cooked through and golden (45 minutes-1 hour; to test, pierce with a skewer and juices should run clear). Set aside to rest (20 minutes).
- 6For cucumber and radish pickles, combine cucumber and radish in a bowl with 1 tsp sea salt flakes and set aside to draw excess moisture from vegetables (20 minutes). Drain, add remaining ingredients and set aside to marinate (10 minutes).
- 7Scatter chrysanthemum leaves over duck and serve with cucumber and radish pickles.
Note Lap cheong, a Chinese sausage, chrysanthemum leaves, often sold as tong ho, Chinkiang vinegar and Chiu Chow chilli oil are available from Asian grocers. Ask your butcher to bone the duck for you.
Drink Suggestion: Young Central Otago pinot noir. Drink suggestion by Max Allen