Peking Roast Duck

June 17, 2010 Posted by Site Owner

My husband and I have loved the popular Chinese dish, roast Peking duck, for as long as I can remember. But I have never tried to make it before. So when he brought home a few birds after a hunting trip, I didn't hesitate experimenting with a few recipes. This is a combination of 3 different recipes into one that we still rave about.



1 X 4.5 pound duck or two smaller ones
3 TBSP soft honey
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
2 TBSP dry sherry
1 Cup hot water



Place the duck (or ducks) in a large roaster and cover with boiling water. Boil for five minutes, then drain and cool under running water. Pat dry on pieces of paper towel. Brace the wings of the duck behind it with metal or bamboo skewers (as best you can). Prepare the duck so that it can be hung (preferably by the neck) overnight with a pan beneath it to catch any marinade drips. If you're using a domestic duck without a neck, try using your imagination. Another tip is if your hunter has brought home birds, make sure you tell him beforehand that you want to leave the neck intact. I ended up using a metal skewer through the upper body and tied string to both ends of the skewer and hung this from a nail in our cold room. The roaster sat beneath the hanging duck and caught all the gooey drips.
Combine the honey, vinegar, sherry and hot water. Brush the entire skin of the duck with this mixture and hang the duck in a cool, well-ventilated area overnight. Make sure it is not a place where flies can get at it.
Roast the duck the following evening in the roaster on a wire rack (to lift it out of its own grease) in a 400F oven. After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to375F and roast for an additional 40 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the meat is poked with a fork.
TO SERVE: The best part of Peking Duck is the crunchy sweet skin, so carve this carefully away from the body. Because ducks have a thick layer of fat beneath the skin, it should be fairly easy to leave the meat intact. Cut the slices of skin into edible squares. Arrange these on a warm platter. Cut the wings and drum sticks from the body and add these to the platter. Then slice the breast and thigh meat and cut it up into portions before adding to the plate.
Have some Mandarin pancakes, sliced cucumber, a bowl of Hoisin sauce and some green onion "brushes" on the table. Take a pancake and use a green onion to brush some Hoisin sauce on it. Put the green onion and a slice of cucumber on the pancake and add some duck meat and a slice of skin. Roll up and eat as you roll your eyeballs heavenward. Serve with what else? Some Chinese Chiew (wine or beer) of course!
NOTE: Try to find some Chinese Mandarin pancakes from the store, or make them yourself with flour, water and sesame oil. The green onion brushes are made by slicing each end of a green onion a few times and then immersing it in ice water for an hour so that it will fan out.


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