A simple preparation, transformed into a classic treasure by the 'lo soi' which is a stock-sauce or mother sauce, once made, may be kept and used indefinitely, over and over, through the years, replenished by the poultry and . seasonings that are cooked in it. This duck dish has a deep and intense flavor and is an enjoyable meal.
3 pieces of cinnamon sticks - 3" long
3 pieces eight-star anise
3/4 tsp sichuan peppercorns
3/4 tsp whole cloves
2 tsps fennel seeds
1 whole nutmeg
8 pieces licorice root
1 piece fresh ginger - 3" long, lightly smashed
4 pieces galangal 2" long, lightly smashed
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
1 1/2 quarts cold water
2 1/2 cups thick dark soya sauce
1 1/2 cups light soya sauce
1/4 cup Mui Kwai/Rose Wine
1 lb rock sugar
1 duck - 5 pounds or more
To make the mother sauce:
Wrap all the spices, from cinnamon to galangal, in cheesecloth and sew close.
In a large, covered stockpot, bring the water, chicken,spice package and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, leave the lid cracked, and simmer for 3 hours.
Add the soya sauces, rose wine and rock sugar and raise the heat back to high and bring to a boil. Stir to make certain all ingredients are blended and the sugar is dissolved.
The sauce is ready for use.
To cook the duck with the mother sauce:
Place a rack at the bottom of a large pot. Place the duck on the rack. Pour in the mother sauce. The duck should be completely immersed. Cover the pot, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, leave the lid cracked, and simmer for `1 3/4 to 2 hours, turning the duck 2 or 3 times.
Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Allow the duck to rest in the liquid for 30 minutes. Remove the duck, cut into bite-sized pieces and serve warm.
A chicken may be cooked in this as well, with no alteration of the recipe and tofu or hard-boiled eggs can be steeped in this sauce too.