Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Peking duck: easy-to-make showstopper for your dinner party

Whilst not a duck eater myself, I found this interesting article by Judy Sarasohn which included an easy Peking duck recipe.

Sarasohn says: "I took a lesson in making Peking duck — crisp skin, thin pancake wraps and all — some 15 years ago from Joan Shih, who teaches Chinese cooking in Silver Spring, Md. It turned out to be so simple that now I only roughly follow a recipe drawn mostly from memory, adding honey and wine if more marinade seems necessary. She continues:

The pancakes for serving are difficult to make just right, so fragile that they are cooked two at a time and then pulled apart. After proving once that I could do it, I now rely on store-bought pancakes (Asian markets carry them sometimes frozen) that need only steaming before serving.)

The other issue is finding a place to hang the duck.

The day before the meal, the duck is scalded for a few minutes and then rubbed on the outside with a mixture of honey, dry sherry or wine, minced ginger and chopped scallions. Then it must hang over a pan overnight to catch the drippings until it is time to roast it in the oven (about an hour before serving). Hanging the bird extracts fat; also, the scalding and marinade make the skin so crisp and delectable that it is served as a separate course at banquets.

The traditional method of making Peking duck calls for inserting a tube or straw under the skin of the duck's neck, then blowing in air to separate the skin and flesh, so that the skin becomes especially crisp and the remaining fat can render and baste the meat during the roasting."

You can read the whole article here:

Peking duck: easy-to-make showstopper for your dinner party - San Jose Mercury News

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