Saturday, 23 October 2010

Crispy Peking Duck

I have had a duck sitting in my freezer for ages, doesn't that sounds familiar? I go out with an idea of what I want to cook, then I get home with the meat/ingredients and can't remember at all, so they get frozen and left for ages!

I love duck but have little idea of what to do with a whole one. I did have a vague idea of crispy Peking duck, having eaten it so many times in Chinese restaurants but thought it was way too difficult, this recipe actually turned out to be fairly easy. I used a small duck and it fed me for two meals beautifully. The picture is just making my mouth water at the memory of how good this was.

Peking Duck (from Chinese Food in Minutes by Ching-He Huang)
(Serves 8)

1 medium duck
2 ltrs boiling water

for the glaze
5 tbsp clear honey
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
4 tbsp Chinese five-spice powder
2 tbsp brown sugar

for the Peking duck sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
6 tbsp hoisin sauce
6 tbsp caster sugar
6 tbsp water
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp cornflour blended with 1 tbsp cold water

To serve
24 wheat flour pancakes
1 cucumber, deseeded and sliced lengthways into long strips
3 spring onions, sliced lengthways unto long thin strips

Place the duck on a rack over a roasting tin and pour the boiling water over it. Discard the water and pat the duck dry with absorbent kitchen paper.

Mix together all the ingredients for the glaze and brush over the duck, inside and out. Leave to dry and glaze for about 10 mins, then brush again. Repeat using most of the marinade but reserve 4-5 tbsps.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the duck on a rack in a roasting tin, transfer to the oven and cook for 45 mins. Turn the duck over and brush with reserved marinade. Check that the bird is not getting too dark, then cook for a further 40-45 mins or until the skin is crisp. Remove the duck on its rack from the oven, cover loosely and leave to rest.

To make the sauce, heat a pan or wok and add all the ingredients for the sauce except the blended cornflour. When the sauce starts to bubble slightly, add the blended cornflour and stir well to thicken. Set aside and leave to cool.

Oil the base of a small bamboo steamer and half-fill with wheat flour pancakes. Place the steamer over a pan of boiling water (making sure the water does not touch the base of the steamer), cover with the lid and steam for 3-4 mins until the pancakes are soft and cooked. Repeat with the remaining pancakes.

Carve and slice some duck. Place a tsp of the sauce on a pancake top with some of the duck meat, cucumber and spring onions, roll up and serve immediately. Repeat with remaining pancakes.

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