Crispy Peking Duck

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Duck
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Chinese Five Spice

For the Plum Sauce:

  • 4 Black Plums
  • 5 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Water

For the Mandarin Pancakes:

  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup Boiling Water
  • 3 tbsp Sesame Oil

For the Garnish:

  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 bunch Green Onions

Instructions

  1. Most of the ingredients you probably have around the house. If you don't have Sesame Oil you could substitute any oil since you are really only using a little to keep the pancakes from sticking together. In the picture you can see I had Hoison sauce ready, just in case the plum sauce didn't work out. We start by getting the duck going. It is going to take a little over 4 hours to get it cooked and shredded. Your remove the duck from the wrapper and then pull the neck and giblets out of the duck's cavity. I trim of the excess skin around the neck since it will not really crisp up well and will just render more duck fat into the pan. I fold the wings back and under the bird and tie the legs with butchers twine. I also score the skin of the duck in a criss cross pattern since the layer of fat under the skin is pretty thick and we want the skin to render down and be nice and crispy.
  2. We pop the bird into a 325 oven breast side up for 1 hour. We then flip it breast side down for 1 hour. Repeat both again, so after four hours it is pretty crispy. We then give a quick broil on low just to take it to the final level of crispy goodness. BUT watch closely, it goes from crispy to burnt pretty quickly. After you pull it out, let it sit for about 20 minutes to rest and cool.
  3. I then carve up the meat and skin off the bird and shred it into small pieces. The plum sauce probably will need to cook for 2 hours so we start it during the ducks first breast side down rotation. Remove the stones from the plums and cut into wedges and place in a saucepan with 5 tablespoons of sugar, a couple of pinches of five-spice, a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce, half a teaspoon of chili powder, some brown sugar and a splash of water. Bring to the boil, then simmer on low for several hours. The plums will break down into a chunky sauce. Put the sauce to one side to cool before serving it, and taste to check the seasoning.
  4. While the duck is cooking, we can make the pancake dough. It is pretty simple. We take the flour and slowly stir in the boiling water with a wooden spoon.Press dough into ball. On lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and satiny, about 5 minutes. Cover with clean towel and let rest 30 minutes.
  5. Roll dough into 10-inch long log. Cut into 1-inch pieces; cover with plastic wrap. Cut each piece of dough in half, keeping remaining dough pieces covered. Roll each half into ball; flatten slightly. On lightly floured surface, roll each dough piece into 3-inch circle; brush with small amount of sesame oil. Stack two dough circles together, oil-sides together. Roll the pair of dough circles together into 6- to 7-inch circle with rolling pin; cover and set aside. Repeat with remaining dough, keeping remaining dough pieces covered.Heat nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Cook pancakes, one pair at a time, turning every 30 seconds, until cakes are flecked with brown and feel dry, 2 to 3 minutes. (Be careful not to overcook pancakes or they will become brittle.) Remove pancakes from pan. Separate each pancake into two pancakes while still hot. Stack pancakes on plate; keep covered while cooking remaining pancakes. Save the cooking of the pancakes for right at the end so they are hot and fresh.
  6. The only other thing we need to do is to prepare our cucumber and green onion. We basically just finely dice these so they are small enough to add flavor and crunch without being too thick.