Here are pressure cooked duck legs with a hoisin and honey glaze, inspired by the classic Chinese-American restaurant Peking duck I’ve been eating since I was a teenager. (Hey, I grew up in the suburbs in Ohio. It took a while before I branched out into the “exotic” parts of the menu - or at least what seemed exotic at the time.)
The trick to this recipe is finding duck legs. My friends at Maple Leaf Farms sell them in 2 packs, which you can find in specialty grocery stores. (If you’re in Northeastern Ohio, I buy two-packs of frozen duck legs from Metropolitan Market up in Pepper Pike; it’s the only regional store I know of that carries duck legs.)
I cook the duck legs on a rack over a mix of water and soy sauce, essentially pressure-steaming the duck. This renders some of the fat out from under the skin. Duck fat is fantastic, but there is a LOT of it, and this cooking technique helps cut the amounts back to where I like them.
Now, for serving, I’m not going to bring out the meat cleaver and chop through the bone, like a true Peking duck. I’ll leave the cleaver work to the professionals at my local Chinese restaurant. I serve the legs whole, with a bowl of rice on the side. (If I'm serving my kids, I separate the drumstick from the thigh - for some reason they're willing to try a drumstick, where the whole leg is too much for them.)
Recipe: Instant Pot Duck Legs Peking StylePrint
Instant Pot Duck Legs Peking Style. Chinese restaurant style duck legs, silky and tender thanks to pressure cooking, with a hoisin glaze.
- 4 duck legs
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon five spice powder
- ½ cup water (plus enough to make 1 cup of liquid)
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- Season the duck legs: Measure ½ cup of soy sauce into a 1 cup or larger measuring cup. Brush the duck legs with a coating of the soy sauce - don’t use all of it, just enough to cover the legs. Sprinkle the duck with the salt and five spice powder. Add water to the measuring cup with the remaining soy sauce to bring it to 1 cup of liquid total, then pour the water and soy sauce mix into an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Put a cooking rack into the pot, then set the duck legs on the rack in a loose pile.
- Pressure cook the duck legs for 35 minutes with a Natural Release: Lock the lid and pressure cook on high pressure for 35 minutes in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker (“manual” or “pressure cook” mode in an Instant Pot) or for 30 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 more minutes. Unlock the lid and open the pot, tilting the lid away from you to avoid the hot steam.
- Glaze the duck legs: Whisk the glaze ingredients together. Gently move the duck legs from the pressure cooker to rimmed baking sheet, skin side up. (They’re very tender, and will want to fall apart.) Brush the skin side of the duck legs with the glaze. If you want to brown the glaze, put the legs under a broiler set to high, about 6 inches away, and broil the pan of duck legs until the sauce starts to thicken and bubble, about 5 minutes. (This depends a lot on the heat of your broiler, and the distance from the pan of legs - keep an eye on them). Brush the legs with another layer of glaze after broiling, serve and enjoy!
Cook from frozen: This recipe works if you cook the legs from frozen, as long as you add five minutes to the cooking time. Brush the frozen legs with soy sauce, season with the salt and five spice powder, and continue with the recipe as written, but cook for 35 minutes at high pressure in an Instant Pot or other electric PC, or for 30 minutes in a stovetop PC.
6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot 6-Quart Pressure Cooker)
Rack (this silicone bakeware sling with handles is my favorite)
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Category: Sunday Dinner
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Chinese
Keywords: Instant Pot Duck Legs Peking Style, Pressure Cooker Duck Legs Peking Style
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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