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  • Serves: 6 Servings

Cooking Duck, Chinese Style

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Chinese, Meat

 Ingredients List

  • Stephen Ceideburg
  • 1 Duck


Cooking a duck can be intimidating to home cooks.
Unlike chicken, there's a layer of fat that can cause
problems. When duck is simply roasted, it often cooks
unevenly, leaving a lot of excess fat. In addition,
much of the potentially delicious skin is discarded.
Chinese cooks slove these problems by applying two or
more cooking methods to melt away most of the fat
while enchancing the flavor of the meat. As a bonus,
this technique can produce duck skin that is
succulently crisp. For example, a duck may be seasoned
and hung overnight in a cool, airy place, then
steamed, perhaps smoked, and finally fried to a golden
brown. Or, a duck may be browned over high heat in a
wok full of oil (which melts away some of the fat),
drained, and finally simmered in a wine/soy/rock sugar
sauce, which is reduced at the end of the cooking time
to a syrupy glaze. Sometimes just the skin is stuffed
with boned duck meat, which has been mixed with
glutinous rice or barley, mushrooms, Chinese dates,
lotus seeds and ham; then the whole thing is steamed.
The famous Peking Duck, which many rank as one of the
world's greatest dishes, begins by easing the skin
away from the meat then pumping in air so the whole
duck inflats like a balloon. The duck then is scalded
in a honey-vinegar mixture and hung overnight to dry
before being cooked. This dish is not a good choice
for the home cook because the duck is best roasted
suspended in a special clay-lined oven.
The lacquered-looking ducks that hang in Chinese
delicatessens, somethimes mistakenly thought to be
Peking ducks, actually are Cantonese roast ducks.
After basting the skins and hanging the ducks
overnight, they are roasted to golden brown perfection
~- a sauce of five-spices, star anise, wine and garlic
simmering in their cavities. For not much more than
the price of an uncooked duck, these, by the half or
whole, make excellent take-out food. The method that
follows for making Sichauan Crispy Skin Duck is
typical of Chinese duck cookery. It requires a few
steps over a couple of days, and two cooking
procedures, but it's not difficult - although frying a
whole duck in a wok full of oil may be a new

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