Dax requested on the Boston board that I post my recipe for Peking duck, so here it is:
- Remove the duck from the plastic, and take out the giblets, etc. Cut off the last segment of the wings. Throw away the giblets and the wingtips.
- Poke a chopstick through the duck, right underneath the wings, and tie a piece of string to the ends of the chopstick, so you can hang the duck up
- boil a large pot or wok full of water
- hang the duck above the boiling water, and use a ladle to ladle water onto the duck several times. This should slightly puff up the duck's skin.
- Remove the pot of boiling water, pat the duck dry, and hang the duck elsewhere for now.
- Put a tablespoon of sugar into a pan, and heat until the sugar liquidifies, and then starts to caramelize. When the sugar is brown, but not completely burnt, turn off the heat, and stir in several tablespoons of cold water
- Brush the caramel water over the entire skin of the duck
- Hang the duck in a cool, dry place, and let dry for 16-24 hours. (You can do this faster in 8-ish hours if you use an electric fan)
- Preheat an oven to 400 degrees
- Place the duck on a roasting rack, in a roasting pan, and roast for around 60 minutes, until the skin is shiny and golden-brown
- Remove the duck from the oven, being careful not to get burnt by the oil in the pan, and move to a plate or cutting board.
- Slice and eat immediately.
You'll want to serve this with thinly sliced scallions, peking duck pancakes, and hoisin sauce.
As for the pancakes, you can get these in most asian supermarkets as "moo shu pancakes". However, I find these too large and doughy, so I usually make my own. Here's my recipe:
- Put several cups of flour in a bowl. Boil several cups of water. Add the boiling water to flour in small increments, and stir, until you get a rather workable dough.
- Let the dough rest for an hour or so, until it's cool enough to knead. Knead slightly until it's smooth
- Divide the dough into small flattened pieces, about the size of a half-dollar, but thicker.
- Take two pieces at a time, and dip one piece in oil, and put it with the other piece so you have the oil sandwiched between two pieces of dough
- Roll out the two pieces of dough into a round crepe-shape as thin as you can
- Cook in a slightly-greased skillet on medium heat, until the pancake slightly poofs up, and tiny brown spots just begin to form
- Flip over, and cook the other side equally
- Remove, let cool for a bit, and separate the two layers of pancake. This should be pretty easy, if you dipped the original pieces in enough oil
- Let cool, and serve with the sliced duck
Also, for the sauce, I usually use "fermented flour sauce" instead of hoisin sauce. It's what authentic restaurants in Beijing use, and it's a bit harder to find in the states. However, you can actually find it at Super 88 in Boston. I think it's labeled "Sweet Flour Sauce". It's next to the stuff in a can labeled "Sweet Bean Sauce", but don't get the stuff in the can. Usually, nearby, there is the flour sauce in a plastic jar. That's what I use.
After you finish slicing the duck, you can use the carcass for duck bone soup. It's actually really easy, and delicious if done right.
Just add the duck carcass, some cold water, and salt to a large pot. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the water turns misty. At this point, add some chinese cabbage, or other leafy vegetables, and serve. If you let it boil for too long, the water will turn from misty back to clear, and the soup won't be as good anymore.
Let me know if you end up trying this, and how it turns out.
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