Samstag, 5. November 2011

Hardships of preparing Peking duck

Tomorrow I will roast peking duck and make pancakes. It is an easy version of Peking duck: I am not going to blow the duck skin loose.
First thing you need is a duck - best to use a big and fat domestic duck (pekin duck). I bought a smaller young, but well fed duck (1.6 kg) because we are only two persons who will eat the duck.
Peking duck preparation takes two days.

First day:
Cook duck glaze

left over glaze after glazing duck

glaze duck
Hang duck right over the hot glaze and ladle glaze over...

hang duck up on a cool and well aired place
under the roof
My smart phone likes to add the colour yellow while using flash light. Don't know why but I will change phones sooner or later.

For glaze:
500 ml water
40 ml honey
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce (or more honey)
60 ml light soy sauce
60 ml rice wine (sake or dry sherry will do)
1/2 lemon cut in thick slices
1 cinnamon stick
2 gloves crushed
1 star anise
Simmer glaze for 20 minutes. Meanwhile rinse duck, put liver, heart, stomach and the neck away for some soup, pat duck dry ( inside and outside) with kitchen paper towels.
Screw a hook into the sternum right at the beginning of the neck.  Knot a kitchen string to the hook, long enough to hold the duck properly over a pot and to hang it up later on.

First ladle/spoon glaze into the duck belly and let it flow back into the pot.
Hold duck over the pot with the cooking glaze (medium high heat) and ladle the glaze over the duck, over and over again until the duck skin turns its colour into somewhat golden brownish (it is not curry yellow). This will take quite a few minutes, glaze will become thicker and thicker. Make sure to ladle the glaze on the back and under the wings too. If you are rather weak (maybe you didn't like to eat spinach during childhood), ask someone stronger to hold the duck properly. I just switched my arms from time to time. Husband asked if he could help but I shoed him out of the kitchen gymn.
I hanged the duck under the roof in our old and airy attic. There are no insects or other pests, so no worry because it is clean and cold, but I would not do this during summer. The duck has to dry over night. Some people place an electric fan next to the duck and let it dry a bit quicker. I think the attic will perfectly do.

Update one day later:
After one night the duck is dry but not dry enough. Touching the skin should remind of touching parchment paper. So I put the duck in the oven without heating but surround ventilation on. The ventilation system is quite strong: blow drying the duck (hopefully).

 Last steps of Peking duck:

I heated the oven up to 240 C and roasted the duck, breast side down, for 20 min on a grill rack. I turned the duck and let it roast 1 hour and 15 minutes at 180 C. During baking time I placed a big pan under the duck filled with hot water.

done and it is not burned!

I baked little hamburger buns. Just fluffy and soft buns 1/2 of  the size of a common hamburger bun with sesame seeds on top (flour, yeast, oil, sesame oil, salt, sugar, skimmed milk/water).

I also prepared the dough for pancakes. 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup hot water: knead until elastic and let rest 30 minutes. Form nearly walnut sized balls (a little bit smaller), dip one ball in sesame oil, place the ball oil side down on a second ball and roll both together to a very thin pancake - as thin as possible. Bake in a dry pan on both sides until pancake surface puffs up in big bubbles. Quickly split pancake open and peel it into two pancakes. If it doesn't puff, put it for 3 seconds in the microwave at 900 W, pancake will blow up like a balloon. Store pancakes in a bowl covered with a hot damped cloth.
 Meanwhile I also
  • prepared spring onions: just sliced them into thin small stripes 
  • stir fried some yellow and red chard stems, cut in thinner stripes and seasoned with sesame oil, soy sauce and sugar
  • stir fried snow peas too, seasoned with salt, soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce, roasted sesame 
  • minced some garlic and ginger - seasoning for the duck later on 
  • prepared small bowls with sweet and hot bean sauce, soy sauce.
snowpeas, pancakes, onions and chard
You take a split open bun or a pancake, spoon on the seasoning: garlic and or ginger, bean sauce, spring onions and duck meat, some dip it in soy sauce too, enjoy:


Thief: loves duck
 This guy went crazy smelling the duck. He jumped on the table and tried to snatch some.


Sissi hat gesagt…

Even without the skin blowing the Peking duck preparation doesn't sound easy... I have heard so many people saying there is no good Peking duck in my city that finally I have never tasted it, but it has always made me dream. I live in a flat so probably wouldn't be able to do the second step... It already looks fabulous. I'm impatient to see the final result.

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

I am not fully satisfied. I don't know why but the skins could be more crisp - the duck tasted delicious and the flesh came easy from the bones. But usually the skin is crisp and dry as cornflakes. Next time I will work more with ventilation (the skin was not like parchment paper, dry but not as dry) and do some more research on baking temperatures and time.

Hiroyuki hat gesagt…

Hats off to you! I've never imagined that anyone would make Peking duck at home!

Peking duck always reminds me of the scene in Tampopo where two men have Peking duck at a Chinese restaurant.

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

Hiroyuki: It is always fun to try something challenging. Best Peking duck I had was in Beijing. The ducks in the chinese restaurants at home are crisp but dry as the desert Gobi.

Tampopo: good reminder, I have to watch it again.

Sissi hat gesagt…

Kiki, the result sounds extraordinary. Maybe one day I'll venture myself to trying the Peking duck too.
Have you considered using a bike pump next time? If you do, please take photos!!!

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

Sissi: Fortunately my husband likes to potter about his cars. I would borrow the electric high-pressure pump for car tires and maybe send the duck flying again. I am sure I need someone to take the pictures - with a high speed camera.

Sissi hat gesagt…

I would love to see it!