I was inspired to make Peking Duck after reading something….what I can not recall but the idea was formed and I needed to execute on it. This is not something you can just do with a snap of a finger, the process takes a few days. I learned a lot and am psyched to try it again. Not a great photo but I want to capture what I did.
I bought the ducks from Good Vittles, a farm in Pennsylvania. They came fresh. The first day I let the ducks sit in the fridge unwrapped for 24 hours. First, you dry them off before putting them back in the fridge. Next time I will put the piece I use to prop them up in the oven from day one. It allows air to circulate around them and dry the skin up.
The second day I pulled the skin away from the meat, stuck forks in the skin and tried to take as much fat out. I then put them in the sink and poured boiling water over them. Then, I put it back in the fridge after drying them thoroughly.
The last day, I realized I should have coated them in a seasoning. The seasoning is 1/4 cup brown sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons soy and two teaspoons rice vinegar. I melted that together and then brushed the duck with this mixture. I put the ducks back in the fridge until I was ready to roast them.
I took the ducks out 30 minutes before they were going to go in the oven. I set the oven to 325 and roasted the ducks for 1.5 hours. At the end, I cranked up the heat to 450 and let them get super crispy. The more the fat is pulled out and the skin dries up, the crispier the skin will get.
Lessons learned were prop the ducks up. Really pulled out the fat. I’d even consider after doing the boiling water to use a blow dryer and really dry the duck super dry before putting back in the fridge. Use the sugar mixture a day in advance. Also, I hacked the duck when I cut it so I have to work on that too.
On the side, I served hoisin sauce, sliced cucumbers, and scallions including flour tortillas. I just did not have it in me to make the pancakes from scratch. There is always next time.