One 4-5 pound duck
1-1/2" piece ginger, peeled and sliced
12 green onions, cut off green parts from white ends; reserve white ends
3 cups water
5 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons rice wine
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup gf flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
12 green onions (the reserved white
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
For dipping sauce:
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 cup gf hoisin sauce
3 teaspoons sugar
1 Tablespoon water
Step 1 - Separating the skin from the meat:
There are two methods to loosen the skin from the meat. The more unusual method is with a bicycle pump (!!) no kidding. Although this admittedly sounds strange, it is fun and effective.
Insert a clean pin from the pump just under the skin of the breast. Pump up the duck, forcing air between skin and meat. Repeat this process in several places; into the breasts, legs and thighs until skin is separated. It is not necessary to pump up the back side.
The other method is to slip your fingers between breast skin and meat. Move your fingers around entire breast, completely separating skin from meat.
Make small cuts at tops of legs and insert your fingers completely around legs and thighs until skin comes away from meat.
Step - Hanging the duck:
Hanging the duck is an important step that will ensure that the skin of the finished duck will be crispy.
To secure the duck for hanging, we used a needle threaded with butcher’s string and inserted it through the tail on either side of the spine. Tie a sevure knot and leave plenty of string to hang the duck.
Hang the duck in a cool, dry place. The temperature should be below 40 degrees F.
(Be creative, we hung our duck from a pull-down weight machine in our garage). Place a plate below the duck to catch any drippings. Let the duck hang over-night.
If you can’t find a cool, dry place to hang your duck, you can dry it in the refrigerator; prop the duck up so that air can circulate around it.
In a wok or a large deep pan combine all ingredients, except cornstarch and water mixture, and bring to a boil. Blend cornstarch mixture and add to wok. Stir and boil until mixture thickens and will coat the
back of a spoon. Turn off heat.
Holding onto the string, lower duck into the glaze, rolling around to coat completely. Raise duck and lower to coat again. When duck stops dripping, return it to the garage to hang again. The duck should hang at least two more hours.
Step 4 - Roasting the duck:
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place duck, breast side up in a roasting pan and add 1" of water to pan. The water will keep the duck moist as it roasts. Roast duck for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
Halfway through roasting time, turn pan around so as to brown evenly. When duck is done it will be a beautiful brown molasses color.
In a food processor combine gf flour, milk, lukewarm water, eggs, 2 tablespoons butter and salt and process until smooth.
Pour batter into a pitcher or a container with a pouring lip. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes.
Place a non-stick or seasoned crepe pan over medium-heat. Coat pan with a little unsalted butter. Stir batter and pour about
2 tablespoons into crepe pan, lifting it off heat and tilting pan so batter forms an even, thin layer. Cook until crepe top is set and underside is golden. Turn crepe over, using your fingers or spatula and cook until second side is lightly browned. Remove crepe to wax paper and continue to cook rest of crepes. Keep crepes warm until ready to serve.
First prepare green onions. With a sharp paring knife, cut off root ends. Make several cuts 1" lengthwise from white end. Put onions on ice water and set aside.
The ends of the green onions will curl as they soak up water.
Next score cucumber lengthwise and then cut into thin rounds.
Finally, slice peppers into 1/8" julienne.
For dipping sauce:
In a small bowl mix all ingredients together, stirring to dissolve sugar. The sauce should be the consistency of thin ketchup. If it is too thick, add a little water.
Step - Removing and preparing the duck skin and meat:
Start by cutting legs and thighs away from body, in one piece, by slicing through the joints. Peel off skin from legs and and thighs; slicing it into thin strips.
Remove breast skin in one piece. It should come away easily by sliding your fingers under skin to separate it. Cut breast skin in half lengthwise to make two pieces. Slice each piece of breast skin in thin strips. Remove meat from breast bone and from legs and thighs and cut into thin strips.
To serve duck on a plate: make a circle of cucumbers around the outside of a large serving plate. Make an X pattern on top of cucumbers using one red and one yellow pepper strip. Spoon a puddle of sauce in center of plate and top with strips of duck meat. Lay several strips of crispy duck skin across meat. Serve with warm crepes and green onion brushes on the side.
To eat duck on a crepe: place a small amount of sauce on a crepe and add one or two cucumbers, pepper strips, duck meat, skin and a green onion, fold and enjoy!
See this month’s cooking class for step by step instructions on making Peking Duck at home.