Peking duck is a delicious and exotic meal. This Chinese dish of roasted duck has wonderfully crispy skin. Because the duck must dry before cooking, leave about eight hours between starting the process and serving the meal. Here’s how:
Ingredients and supplies:
5 1/2lb duck
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon white vinegar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
6 1/3 cups water
Wok or large frying pan
Metal tray, at least 2” deep
- Prepare the duck. Cut the wings off at the first joint. Then thoroughly wash the whole duck, and pat dry with paper towels. Make sure there are no feathers or quills still attached to the skin.
- Begin the sauce. Place your frying pan or wok over high heat, and add 6 cups of water. Once the water is boiling, add 2 tablespoons of honey. Stir for a minute until it dissolves. Next, add the sherry and white vinegar, bringing the mixture back to a rolling boil.
- Add the cornstarch. Next, mix 1/3 cup of water and 3 tablespoons of cornstarch in a separate bowl. Stir until well combined; the cornstarch should dissolve, leaving you with a white, smooth liquid with no lumps. Once it reaches this stage, stir it into the mixture in the pot. Now bring the mixture back to a boil.
- Dip the duck. Now, carefully transfer the duck into the boiling mixture in the pot. Then use a large spoon to baste the duck with the sauce. The longer you leave the duck in the sauce, the sweeter and tangier it will become.
- Let the sauce dry. For perfect Peking duck, place your duck on a wire rack. Do not cover, and let air dry for at least six hours. This drying time will tighten the skin. Make sure that the duck is placed in a cool and airy location where it will not be touched by pets or other disturbances.
- Prepare to bake. As the duck is nearing the end of its drying time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fill a metal tray with one to three inches of water, and place it on the bottom rack in your oven. The water will keep the duck moist, and also catch any drippings.
- Bake the duck. Place the duck breast side up on a rack in the center of your oven. Bake for half an hour, then turn so that the breast is down. Continue baking for another 45 minutes, then turn the duck breast side up again for another 30 minutes. Towards the end of the baking time, the skin should turn dark brown.
- Enjoy! Peking duck is traditionally served with scallions, hoisin sauce, and Chinese pancakes. Place some duck meat and skin in a pancake, pour on a little sauce, roll and enjoy!
Peking duck is a delicious and unique dish that will be sure to please your guests. Although it can sound like a challenging endeavor, Peking duck is actually very easy to make.