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Pressed Duck with Sweet and Sour Plum Sauce
5 lb Long Island duck, cleaned
1 tb Chinese five-spice powder
1 ts Salt
1 c Water chestnut powder
Sweet and sour plum sauce
Oil for deep frying
Crushed toasted almonds
Place duck in large kettle or Dutch oven with enough boiling water to cover. Add spices and salt and simmer covered until tender, about 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Remove duck from liquid and let cool.
Remove meat from bones and discard skin. Pour chestnut powder into small baking pan (an 8-inch aluminum pan works well; powder should be 1/2 to 1/4 inch deep). Press meat into powder. Cover and steam 30 minutes, or until powder has gelatinized into thick, heavy crust. Remove from steamer and let cool.
Cover and chill until ready to complete. About 30 minutes before serving time, prepare sweet and sour plum sauce; set aside and keep warm. Warm a serving platter in low oven. Preheat oil in deep fryer to 375 F. Slice duck into bite-size chunks and fry quickly in batches until crisp and browned. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat until cooking is completed. Serve immediately with sweet and sour plum sauce topped with nuts.
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