Chinese Roast Duck
140g caster sugar
6 star anise seeds
Large piece ginger peeled and sliced
Small bunch spring onions roughly chopped
2tbsp. Malt syrup (available from Chinese supermarkets)
3tbsp. Red wine vinegar
On the day before cooking, soak 4 bamboo skewers in water for 20 mins.
Wash the ducks inside and out with cold water, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper.
In a bowl mix together the sugar, star anise, ginger, spring onions and a few good pinches of salt, then use this to fill the cavities. Close the cavities with the wooden skewers and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the malt syrup and 2 tbsp. of the vinegar. Add the remaining tbsp. of vinegar to a jug of boiling water and pour over the ducks - this opens up the pores of the duck and lets the vinegar strip some of the waxiness from the skin. Smear the malt syrup mixture over the ducks and then place them in a large plastic container. Store in the fridge overnight, uncovered.
Pre heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7. Pour a little water in the bottom of a large roasting tin, place the ducks on a rack over the top, cover with foil and place in the oven. Roast for about 45 mins. Remove the foil and roast for a further 45 mins. Take the duck out of the oven and let it rest for a good 20 mins before carving.