Last night was Chinese New Year’s Eve so mom and I prepared a special meal to welcome in the New Year – Year of the Rabbit.
Peking duck is one of the few Chinese specialties that my mom does not make mainly because she doesn’t have a working oven in her home. So I decided to prepare this dish as a special treat for her! We bought a frozen 2.35 kg (5 lb) duck from Carrefour and defrosted it in the fridge for 2 days.
I then followed the instructions on this YouTube video from Ken Hom: basically I basted the duck with the marinade mixture, pricked the skin with a sharp fork, dried it in the fridge overnight, then stuck it in my oven with the oven fan on for 4 hours, then roasted it at 450F for 15 minutes, and then 350F for 1 hour. Finally, I took the duck out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Both mom and Scotch were quite impatient to cut into the duck as a lovely roasting smell had been wafting throughout the house and intensifying in the last moments of cooking. The duck certainly looked beautifully caramelized but I didn’t quite achieve the overall skin crispy-ness that I was hoping for. Only the skin of the drumsticks ended up crispy. The breast was still soggy. Maybe next time I will try the air pump technique.
Anyway, crispy or not crispy, the duck tasted absolutely divine! Sometimes I would get a bite of skin with some perfectly juicy and tasty fat and the effect in my mouth was like heaven. Mm Mm Good!
I didn’t know where to get the pancakes for Peking duck in Dubai so again I used a Ken Hom’s YouTube video to show me how to make it. I’m not much of a baker so I found the whole flour-and-dough-and-kneading-thing annoying and tedious. I couldn’t seem to roll the dough into perfect rounds, nor roll them thin enough, nor could I get the two-pancake-method to unstick properly.
Anyway, below is what the finished result looked like. We served up the duck with the traditional accompaniments of sliced cucumber, sliced scallions, and hoisin sauce. Again I say, “Mm Mm Good!”
Happy New Year or “Sun Neen Fai Lok” to all!
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