Peking duck is a Chinese restaurant favorite. The crispy skin and moist meat are served alongside green onion, cucumber, hoisin sauce, and mandarin pancakes. The traditional way of eating this delicious duck is to spread a little hoisin sauce on a pancake, add a little green onion and cucumber; then top it with some of the meat and skin and wrap it up and enjoy. For instructions on how to make homemade mandarin pancakes click here.
5 lb duck
3 large green onions
1 small cucumber
15 mandarin pancakes
1 cup hot water
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp cooking sherry
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- Remove the neck and giblets from inside the duck. Then rinse the entire duck under cold running water and thoroughly pat it dry with paper towels.
- Next we want to pull the skin away from the meat of the duck without tearing the skin. To do this, first make a small hole in the skin with your hands at the neck of the duck. Use your fingers to push as much skin away from the meat as possible without tearing it. Then using a chopstick, slowly push it through the hole and down in between the skin and the meat. Use the chopstick to separate the skin from the meat as much as possible without poking a hole through the skin. Do this on both sides of the duck.
- Since the chopstick is only so long, there will still be some remaining skin attached to the meat towards the lower end of the duck. To get this remaining lower skin to pull away from the meat we will need to use air pressure to push the skin away. To do this, use a turkey baster. Remove the rubber end and place the small end of the baster into the hole at the neck of the duck. Then wrap your hand around the edges of the hole to make a seal around the baster. Next, slowly and strongly blow into baster until the rest of the skin pulls away from the meat of the duck.
- Once the skin pulls away from the meat, place the duck in a large pot and set it aside.
- Then cover a roasting pan with foil and place a roasting rack on top and set it aside.
- In a large microwave safe cup or bowl mix together all of the ingredients for the basting liquid. Then cover it with either a paper towel or plastic wrap (loosely sealed,) place it in a microwave, and heat it on high for about 2 minutes, or until it comes to a boil. This time will vary depending on your microwave.
- As soon as the mixture boils, remove it from the microwave and slowly pour it over the duck, turning the duck to coat all of its sides.
- Once the duck is coated with the mixture, remove it from the pot letting the excess sauce drip off and set it on the roasting rack.
- Next, prop the duck up on the roasting rack so that it is in a standing position. You can do this using about 3 chopsticks – 2 under its wings and one in the front of the duck. Then place it in the oven and let it sit over night.
- The next morning, remove the chopsticks and place the duck breast side up on the roasting rack. Check the cavity, if it is still moist, dry it out completely using paper towels.
- Next we want to dry out the duck completely so that the skin is very taught before cooking it. To do this, place it in the oven and turn the temperature to 130F. Once it reaches 130F turn the oven off and let the temperature drop to about 100F then turn it back on again. Continue this process for about 2 hours or until the skin of the duck is very taught and light brown/ slightly pink in color. At the same time, flip the duck every 20 minutes so that both sides dry evenly. Also, if the duck starts to “sweat,” use a paper towel to lightly blot the duck.
- While the duck dries, prepare the other ingredients.
- Rinse the green onions under cold running water and dry them with paper towels. Cut off the bottoms and about an inch from the top of each of the stalks. Then cut the remaining stalks on a diagonal into about ˝ inch to an inch pieces and set them aside.
- Rinse the cucumber under cold running water and dry it with paper towels. Then cut it into an inch to 1˝ inch thin slivers and set them aside.
- Once the duck is dry and the skin is very taught and light brown / pink in color we can begin the cooking process.
- First, prick the skin all over with a fork. This should be quite easy since the skin is now very taught. Then place it on a rotisserie grill with a drip pan underneath for the fat (there will be quite a bit of fat that drips off) and turn it on high.
- Roast the duck for 40 minutes checking to make sure the internal temperature has reached 165F.
- Then remove it from the heat and serve it alongside the green onion, cucumber, hoisin sauce, and mandarin pancakes. Makes about 3 to 4 servings.