Saturday, January 02, 2010

Road Test : Peking Duck

One of the things I’ve decided to do this year is to extend my cooking skills. I’ll let you in on a secret here, I’m fabulous with everyday main meals but I can’t bake at all, so don’t expect to see fluffy sky high cakes and biscuits over the next year because that just aint going to happen. I once threw a cake out the back door when it collapsed after I spent hours making it. One of my other New Year's Resolutions is to try to control my temper.

My first challenge for the year was Peking Duck. I bought two ducks on special a while ago and roasted one and it was pretty ordinary. Ho hum. I hate it when that happens.  This duck has been cooling it’s heels in the freezer waiting for inspiration to strike. (Do ducks have heels?)

A quick toodle round the internet and apparently the best Peking duck is air dried for about 4-5 hours before roasting. I am by nature a worrier. What about food poisoning? I finally decide 1.3 billion Chinese people and 5000 years of Chinese culture probably render it safe enough. What a blessing today isn’t 42 C. Although that would speed up the air drying process.

Making the marinade. Then the ducky went for a swim in the marinade.

“ Air Drying” the duck. I put the fan on in my oven without turning the heat on and chucked the duck in there. I have two dogs, and a cat that I swear has opposable thumbs and a constantly empty stomach. No way am I leaving this to air dry outside or on the bench. I thought I was pretty hot crap for thinking of this idea.....

Unfortunately I realised three hours in,  that the air blows out of the top of my oven – not around the inside of my oven, so I took it out and put it on the table and then stood guard for the last 60 minutes yelling at the cat to get off the table approximately every three minutes. Gee that was a fun way to spend Saturday afternoon.

Making my hoisin sauce. Ok I cheated. I figured doing the duck the authentic way was challenge enough.

I did however make these pancakes. Dead easy.

I contemplated making spring rolls , but Mr. Wong's were so much faster.

The end result...Ta Da !

It tasted as good as the restaurant kind.

You can get the recipe I used for the duck here at And the pancake recipe here as well.

Stay tuned for Meatless Mondays.

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