---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.02
  Categories: Chinese, Poultry
       Yield: 4 servings
            Stephen Ceideburg
   4 1/2 lb Duck *
       3 tb Sichuan peppercorns
       3 tb Coarse salt
   1 1/2 tb Sugar
       4    Quarter-sized slices fresh
            -ginger, shredded
       3    Green onions, cut into
            -2-inch pieces, crushed
     1/4 c  Chinese rice wine or dry
            Asian sesame oil
            Chinese Steamed Lotus Buns
            Slivered green onions
            Hoisin sauce (1/2 teaspoon
            -per serving)
     1/2 c  Sichuan peppercorns
     1/2 c  Raw long-grain rice
     1/2 c  Black tea leaves
     1/2 c  Dark brown sugar
       2    Cinnamon sticks, broken into
            -small pieces
       4    Whole star anise or the
            -equivalent in pieces
   * or 2 Cornish game hens, about 1 1/2 pounds each (see
   Remove fat from duck or hens and discard. Rinse
   thoroughly with cold water. With the palm of your
   hands press down on the breastbone to snap the bone
   and flatten the bird. Pat dry.
   Marinating: In an ungreased skillet or wok over medium
   heat, toast the peppercorns and salt until the salt
   turns a tan color and the peppercorns are aromatic,
   about 5 minutes. Finely grind in a food processor or
   spice mill and combine with sugar, ginger, onions and
   wine. Rub mixture throughout the duck or hens inside
   and out and place in a shallow heat-proof bowl (select
   one that will fit comfortably into the wok or pot that
   you will steam in). Cover and marinate overnight or up
   to 3 days, refrigerated. Turn every few hours, Remove
   from the refrigerator. Let the duck or hens come to
   room temperature.
   Steaming: Fill the bottom of wok or steaming pot with
   boiling water. Place bowl with the duck or hens and
   marinade on a rack over the water. Cover and steam 1
   1/2 hours for duck, 45 minutes for hens.
   At 15-minute intervals, check water level and
   replenish with more water if needed. Remove hens with
   their bowl. Cool. Transfer duck or hens to a cooling
   rack; scrape off marinade. (Save duck stock. It makes
   a delicious cooking stock for vegetables.) Set hens in
   a cool, airy spot to dry for at least 4 hours, or
   refrigerate, overnight, uncovered,
   Smoking: Line bottom of a wok with heavy-duty aluminum
   foil. Mix together and distribute smoking materials on
   the bottom. Set a 9 or 10-inch round cake rack into
   the wok or devise a rack by crisscrossing 6 wooden
   chopsticks in the middle of the wok. Place duck or
   hens directly on rack. Turn heat to medium-high. When
   the smoke begins, cover the wok and smoke for 10 to 20
   minutes, or until duck or hens turn golden brown.
   Remove from rack and brush lightly with sesame oil.
   The hens may be served at this point or browned.
   Browning: Place hens breast side up on a roasting rack
   in a 425 degree F. oven for 5 to 10 minutes to crisp
   the skin.
   Serving: Chop duck or hens into bite-size pieces, or
   remove bones and cut meat into thin slices. Serve with
   Lotus buns and accompaniments.
   Note: If you are preparing more than 2 hens, you will
   need to steam and smoke them in 2 batches.
   PER SERVING (duck, not counting lotus buns): 700
   calories, 38 g protein, 1 g carbohydrate, 58 g fat (20
   g saturated), 168 mg cholesterol, approximately 1,270
   mg sodium, 0 g fiber.
   Joyce Jue writing in the San Francisco Chronicle,