Monday, May 11, 2009

Peking Duck

For my first attempt at Peking duck I used recipe #38023 from Now, having done it, I can say it is worth the price you pay in a restaurant - it is a lot of work! To prove it really was a duck, I have the photo below to confirm it. Kind of looks like the Aflac duck in the commercials.

The distinguishing parts have to go - off with the head and the feet!

Then remove the fat and skin around the tail and neck where the fat is quite thick.

I placed a chopstick thru the neck opening and along the wing bones so that the wing bones protruded straight out, then tied a string to the middle of the chopstick. 6 cups of water were brought to a boil in a wok, then 2 tablespoons of honey were added and stirred in, 2 tablespoons of white grape juice (the recipe called for dry sherry), 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (the recipe balled for white vinegar) and a slurry made out of 3 tablespoons of cornstarch (the cornstarch was mixed with with about a quarter cup of water).

Using the string tied to the chopstick, I dipped the duck in the wok several times and coated it with the mixture.
Then hung the duck in the bathroom with the door closed (so the cat couldn't get it) for about six hours (the recipe called for 4 to 6 hours) with a bowl underneath to catch the drips. I also put a small fan blowing on it to aid the drying out process. This is supposed to dry the skin and give the duck skin the crunchy texture.

After the drying time and after removing the chopstick and string, I put the duck in a roasting pan, with two inches of water in the bottom, in the lower rack of the oven. I coated the rack on top of the pan with olive oil and put the duck in the oven preheated to 350 degrees. It cooked 30 minutes breast side up, then breast down for 45 minutes and breast up for another 30 minutes.

While the duck was roasting, I cut up 10 scallions, slicing them lengthwise, four times each, into approximate 3 inch long pieces. I put them in ice water until they were ready for use. I prepared the sauce for the pancakes using one-half cup of hoisin sauce, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of water.
I also prepared the Mandarin pancakes, which was a whole lot of work itself, but I won't go into any detail on it. I used Bergy's Dim Sum #7 Mandarin Pancackes recipe #11026 at I got better at rolling out the dough into round shapes after I'd done a bunch of them and the pancakes turned out surprisingly well.

Then I carved the duck, Lotus Garden style, pulling off the legs and wings separately.
When it was all done I realized that the duck I'd used was quite a bit smaller than what they use at Lotus Garden. However, I couldn't find a duck larger than 5 pounds.

Below is my first pancake with hoisin sauce, scallion slices and duck, ready to be folded and eaten.

It turned out very well. The skin was not as crisp as Lotus Garden's and the pancakes were not as round and soft as Lotus Gardens, but the end product was never-the-less very good. In some respects, the home-made pancakes were even better.
Because I was concerned this would not be enough for four of us (Judy, Rachael, Nate and myself), I also barbequed a duck. That will be a future post. We did eat all of the Peking duck and part of the barbequed duck. Again, it was a lot of fun to make and tasted very good - but it is a long process.

1 comment:

  1. This meal was absolutely amazing! I was SO impressed. It tasted absolutely authentic. Mmmm... You blew me away!