Turn to summer's luscious fruits to give main meals such as Peking duck a tangy, textured lift.
2 x 1.8kg-2kg roasted Peking ducks
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra
2 mangoes (not too ripe)
2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
Place one duck on a chopping board and remove fat deposits in the cavity. Cut neck off and remove the first two wing joints. Season inside and out with sea salt. Repeat with second duck.
Preheat oven to 200ºC.
In a bamboo steamer, steam ducks over boiling water for 45 minutes, making sure not to boil the saucepan dry. (If you have two stacking bamboo steamers or one large one, you can cook both ducks at once; otherwise, cook one at time. If using two stacking steamers, halfway through the steaming process, place the top one on the bottom.)
When cool enough to handle, place one duck on a board and remove legs. Cut backbone out and cut the two breasts down the middle, leaving the breastplate in place. Repeat with the other duck.
Brush the four breast pieces with 1 tsp olive oil and season with sea salt. Place in a roasting tin, skin-side down, cook for 15 minutes, then turn. Pour out excess liquid and cook for a further 15-20 minutes. When the duck is cooked and the skin is crisp, remove from oven.
In the meantime, remove skin from the mangoes and slice off cheeks. In a small non-stick pan, heat a little extra virgin olive oil over medium heat and add mango cheeks, round side down. Cook for about 3 minutes, then turn to the flat side and cook another 2 minutes.
Place a mango cheek on each of 4 plates. Cut a duck leg in half and place next to the mango. Remove breast from the breastplate and slice lengthways into thick slices; arrange neatly over the leg. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, and serve with a fresh green salad.
• Because the roast duck is quite rich, it's best served with a simple green salad or sautéed potatoes.
• The duck goes well with any seasonal fruit - peaches, cherries, nectarines and figs.
SOMETHING TO DRINK
Always reliable, the 2009 Domaine Trimbach ($27) is a classic example of Gewürztraminer from the Alsace region. The wine is light bodied and fragrant with exotic fruits and spices. Its touch of sweetness accentuates the mango in the roasted duck dish.