For very special occasions if you want to impress visitors or your family with something different. The only trouble with preparing Peking Duck is that it takes a long time ~~~ but it is worth it!
One 5 to 6 pound duck
8 cups water
1 slice ginger
1 scallion, cut into halves
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon sherry
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
Scallions for garnish
Clean duck. Wipe dry and tie string around neck.
Hang duck in cool, windy place 4 hours.
Fill large wok with water. Bring to boil. Add ginger, scallion, honey, vinegar, and sherry. Bring to boil.
Pour in dissolved cornstarch. Stir constantly.
Place duck in large strainer above larger bowl. Scoop boiling mixture all over duck for about 10 minutes. Hang duck again in cool, windy place for 6 hours until thoroughly dry.
Place duck breast side up on a greased rack in oven preheated to 350 degrees. Set a pan filled with 2 inches of water in bottom of oven. (This is for drippings). Roast 30 minutes.
Turn duck and roast 30 minutes more.
Turn breast side up again. Roast 10 minutes more.
Use sharp knife to cut off crispy skin. Serve meat and skin immediately on a prewarmed dish.
The duck is eaten hot with hoisin sauce rolled in Mandarin Crepes.
Garnish the duck with scallion flowerets.
(May be prepared in advance through step 5. Do not freeze.)
Serves 4 to 6 persons
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon cold water
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Place the flour in a medium sized bowl, and gradually pour in the boiling water, stirring with a wooden spoon until it is mixed. Add the cold water, stirring. As soon as your hands can withstand the heat, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and soft. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it stand for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured board into a 16 inch long rope.
Cut the dough into 16 1-inch pieces.
Shape the pieces into a ball. Use the palm of your hand to flatten each piece into a circle. Then brush the top of each piece with sesame oil and place one piece on top of another, oiled sides together. Continue until you have eight pairs.
Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll each pair of cakes into a thin 6-inch circle. To maintain an even thickness and roundness, rotate the circles frequently and turn them over as well.
Heat an unoiled non-stick pan over medium to low heat. Fry a pair of crepes on both sides for approximately 1 minute on each side or until light brown bubbles appear. Remove from the pan and separate into two while still hot. (Once cooled, they are difficult to separate). Put on a plate and cover with a damp cloth while cooking the rest of the pancakes.
These crepes can be prepared in advance and stored in a plastic bag in the fridge.
To reheat, wrap crepes in a clean cloth and steam for 5 minutes.
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