Kylie finds inspiration for her cooking from the generous people she meets in the heart of Shanghai’s old town.
The addition of dark soy and light soy to the master stock turns it into Red Master Stock – all those beautiful, reddish-brown ducks you see hanging up in the windows of Chinese barbecue shops are poached in this stock, which is often called Red Braise Stock.
Because the duck has been steeped for 3 hours, it has an amazing intensity of colour from the soy and flavour from the aromatics – subtle hints of ginger, star anise, cinnamon and orange zest.
This stock can be reused again and again by simply straining it thoroughly, storing it in an airtight container and freezing it.
Each time you use this stock, it will become richer and deeper: simply thaw it and add a fresh batch of all the stock ingredients, plus enough water to make up the volume of liquid to 6 litres (6 quarts) again.
Place all stock ingredients, plus 6 litres (6 quarts) of cold water, in a large stockpot and bring to the boil.
Reduce heat and simmer gently for 40 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
Meanwhile, rinse duck under cold water.
Trim away excess fat from inside and outside cavity.
Lower duck, breast-side down, into simmering stock, ensuring it is fully submerged.
Poach duck gently for exactly 25 minutes.
There should be no more than an occasional ripple breaking the surface; adjust the temperature, if necessary, to ensure stock does not reach simmering point again. Remove stockpot immediately from the stove and allow duck to steep in the stock for 3 hours at room temperature to complete the cooking process.
Using tongs, gently remove duck from the stock, being careful not to tear the breast skin.
Place duck on a tray to drain and allow to cool.
Chop the duck Chinese-style and arrange on a platter.
Spoon over some of the master stock and serve at room temperature.
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