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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Easy Peking-style Duck

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
You know Chinese New Year is upon us and you still have time to get in on the celebration. This is the year of the rat — how festive! My friends are making a feast this weekend and splitting up the cooking. I said I would make the Peking duck, which is a traditional part of the meal. Having no idea how to make it, I startied researching the recipe. Apparently to do it the authentic way takes days and all the recipes talked about hanging the duck in a windy place. That just worried me so I found a simplified American version, which works really well, and the flavor is quite authentic. Check it out!

1 large duck, giblets removed
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons peanut oil

Bring a pot of water, large enough to hold the duck, to a boil. Remove from heat and plunge duck in the water for 5 minutes. Remove and pat dry.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring just to the boil. Off heat, allow mixture to cool to room temperature. Liberally coat the duck with the mixture and let it sit at room temperature for 3 hours so that the coating dries out. Place duck on a rack, breast side up in a preheated 350-degree oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Roast until skin is crisp and brown. Check occasionally and regulate temperature so that the coating does not burn. Serve as part of a great feast!