Peking duck is a classic recipe at the Chinese-American restaurants I grew up with. Much to my surprise, it's an authentic Chinese recipe as well. This post was inspired by Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations in Beijing. The Li Qun Roast Duck Restaurant cooks their ducks by hanging them over a roaring fire in a huge wood fired oven. I took one look at the ducks browning over the fire, and I knew I had to try it myself.
*If you've enjoyed Tony's books and TV shows, you might want to check this out. His...well, warped sense of humor is in full view in: Anthony Bourdain's Alternate Universe. It's the Tony Bourdain cartoon! Just don't say I didn't warn you about the "warped" part...
Recipe: Rotisserie Duck, Pekin Style
- Grill with Rotisserie attachment (I used a Weber Summit 650 with an infrared rotisserie burner. Here it is.)
- Aluminum foil drip pan (9"x12", or whatever fits your grill)
- Butcher's twine
- 1 whole duck, 5-6 pounds (mine was 6.65 pounds)
- 3 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tangerine (or orange)
- 2 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 slices of ginger (each roughly the size of a quarter)
- 1/2 tsp five spice powder
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- Juice of 1/2 tangerine (or orange)
Note: for an overview, see my rotisserie poultry basic technique post.
1. Dry Brine the Duck: 24 to 48 hours before you want to start cooking, salt the duck evenly - about 1/2 tsp on the breast, 1/2 tsp on the legs, 1/2 tsp on the back, 1/2 tsp in the cavity, and 1/2 tsp in the neck. Put the duck on a rack over a roasting pan or baking sheet, and store in the refrigerator, uncovered. This lets the skin dry, and gives the salt time to dry brine the duck.
*If you're feeling adventurous, try to work your fingers under the skin and fat on the breast, so you can salt the breast meat directly. This is a lot tougher to do than on a chicken or turkey, so I won't hold it against you if you skip it.
2. Prep the duck: One hour before cooking, remove the duck from the refrigerator. Put all the stuffing ingredients except for the half a tangerine into a small bowl. Toss the stuffing ingredients until well coated with the oil and five spice powder. Pat the duck dry with paper towels, then poke the skin on the breast and thighs all over with a paring knife, being careful not to pierce the meat. (I do this by coming at the duck from a very low angle, almost parallel to the skin.) Stuff the duck with the half a tangerine and the stuffing mix. Finally, truss the duck, and skewer it on your rotisserie spit. Let it rest at room temperature while you prepare the grill.
4. Cook the duck: Put the spit on the grill, and cook the duck with the lid closed for 1 to 2 hours. After an hour, check the duck; if the duck is browning well, reduce the heat to medium. (In my case, I also turned off the rotisserie burner, becuase the wingtips were starting to get pretty black.) Check the duck's temperature with an instant read thermometer; the duck is fully cooked when the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh is 180*F. It should take an hour and a half to two hours to finish cooking. Remove from the grill and let rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
*Note: the duck in these pictures was done after 1 hour and 15 minutes of cooking. Make sure you start checking the temperature at the one hour mark, and adjust your cooking time as appropriate.
5. Make the sauce and glaze the duck: While the duck is cooking, put all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Fifteen minutes before the duck will be done cooking, brush the duck with the sauce. Brush the duck with the sauce once more right before taking it off the grill.
6. Carve the duck: Cut off the wings and legs, and serve them bone in; carve the breasts off the carcass, and slice them into 1/2" thick slices. I like to serve by putting the carved pieces of duck on a platter and drizzling with a little of the sauce. Then I give everyone a little bowl of sauce for dipping, and let them serve themselves from the platter.
*I serve this with a side of white rice and a stir-fried vegetable or two. Any leftover sauce is great drizzled on the rice.
*For Peking duck in the style of your local Chinese restaurant, you should also serve Chinese pancakes and scallion shreds on the side. You should be able to find the pancakes at your local asian market.
Questions? Suggestions? Ideas? Leave them in the comments.
Stir Fried Bok Choy
Basic White Rice
Adapted From: Steven Raichlen's Rotisserie episode of "Primal Grill"
|Check out my cookbook, Rotisserie Grilling.
Everything you could ask about the rotisserie,
plus 50 (mostly) new recipes to get you cooking.
It's a Kindle e-book, so you can download it and start reading immediately!
*Enjoyed this post? Want to help out DadCooksDinner? Subscribe to DadCooksDinner using the RSS or Email options on the right, link to this post from your blog, recommend DadCooksDinner to your friends, or buy something from Amazon.com through the links on this site. (Like my Rotisserie Grilling cookbook...)