Rinse the duck under running water anddry thoroughly with paper towels. Tie the neck tightly with string,so that no liquid will drip out. Let sit uncovered in the refrigeratorfor 2 hours, then rub generously inside and out with salt.
Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add onions,scallions, parsley, garlic and peppercorns. Stir fry for 2 minutes.Pour in stock. Bring to a boil and simmer gently 5 to 6 minutes.Add soy sauce, sherry, sugar and five spice powder; blend well.Pour this mixture inside the duck and close the cavity tightlywith skewers and string so no liquid leaks out.
In a separate bowl, mix honey and vinegarwith boiling water to use for basting the duck.
Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).
Roast the duck on a rack 15 minutes. Bastethe duck with the honey-vinegar mixture. Reduce heat to 375°F(190°C) and roast for 1 hour, basting halfway through.
Remove duck from the oven and cool for1 to 2 minute. Carefully remove the strings and skewers; pourthe liquid from the bird’s cavity into a saucepan. Stir cornstarchwith the water and add to the sauce over medium heat; stirringuntil thickened.
Cut the duck into smaller pieces and placeon a serving plate. Pour the sauce over and serve hot with riceif desired.
Makes 4 servings.
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