This year for our family Christmas gathering, Daniel wanted to make Peking Duck. Sure, it’s definitely easier to just go to a Chinese Restaurant and buy it, but where’s the fun in that? The only experience I’ve had with Peking Duck was, well, eating it! We both wanted to learn how to make it, so we did some research and found a lot of tips and advice, however, we prepared it the best way we could with our resources.
I’ve always enjoyed Peking Duck, a traditional course in many Asian weddings (even ours!), and yet I’ve never known exactly how it was prepared. No, you don’t just throw it in the oven to cook! There’s actually an entire day’s process before that! The main step to making great Peking Duck is that you have to dry the entire duck after pouring hot boiling water over it and rubbing it with all of the spices. That’s the secret to a crispy skin. So, continue reading to see our first hands-on experience with making Peking Duck.
I bought the frozen duck at the Asian market and defrosted it completely. The insides were removed, then we stuck a metal skewer through it so it would hang over our huge pot. We boiled a gallon of water and we poured it over the duck (as shown) in order to puff up the skin. This process helps to free the skin from the fat. The remainder of the fat will be released during the roasting so the duck will be moist, but not fatty, and the skin will be crispy.
We drained the hot water so that the duck can air dry. Next, we rubbed the duck inside and out with salt, white pepper, five spice powder, and hoison sauce. Let that rub marinate for a couple of hours. Then, combine corn syrup, honey, and rice wine vinegar and brush the mixture all over the duck. Hang the duck for 12-24 hours to let it completely dry.
The duck goes into a 450-degree oven to roast for 40 minutes until it turns into this beautiful color. Let the meat rest for 15 minutes after cooking.
Some people choose to eat the duck without the skin, but we think it's pretty tasty! You can eat the duck with the Chinese baos and some hoison sauce, or with the Mandarin-style pancakes.
It was too hectic to get a final picture during our holiday party, so I took a photo of the Peking Duck in a sandwich I made the day after. The skin isn't as golden, but it still tasted delicious! The meat is still moist and the combination of the hoison sauce and scallions made it a great lunch. Peking Duck is quite complicated to make, but it was rewarding when we were able to delight our family members with this meal! Not too shabby for our first attempt.
To view or print-out this simplified version, click here: Peking Duck