How to Perfect the Peking Duck Experience
While many people choose to dine out to eat Peking Duck, some adventurous types may wish to try preparing the dish at home. This first requires sourcing a duck, which isn’t always easy to do. Restaurants often obtain ducks for cooking from duck farms. However, not all farms sell their products to the public.
That means people who wish to prepare the duck at home will need to find and slaughter one on their own. They will also need to dress and eviscerate it before rinsing it off and removing the bone from the neck without breaking it.
The next step involves using a straw to inflate the skin of the duck until it resembles a balloon. This separates the skin from the meat. The chef should then place the duck in boiling water to render fat and tighten skin. After removing from the water, it’s time to apply a soy and maltose mixture before hanging the duck to dry overnight.
While the duck hangs vertically, the chef should roast it in a wood-fired brick oven. The roasting should continue until no fat remains under the skin of the duck. The chef can serve the Peking Duck immediately once the skin has reached the desired level of crispiness.
He or she should serve to guests with a pancake on one plate and the duck meat on another. Peking Duck tastes best when diners place the meat onto the pancake and then cover it with garnishments such as spring onions and cucumbers.
Side Dish Options
Although Peking dish is a delicious meal, most people prefer to eat it with at least one side dish. Two popular options include:
- Cabbage: The chef should chop the cabbage as finely as possible and add fat from the duck or another source. After cooking for about 15 minutes, the chef can add water to facilitate the cooking process. The simple and sweet flavor goes well with the crispiness of Peking duck.
- Mashed potatoes and caramelized onions: The strong flavor and sweetness of this side dish makes it an ideal accompaniment for Peking Duck. The chef should start by preparing mashed potatoes as usual, making sure to add plenty of milk and butter.
- After cutting the onions, the chef should place them in a pan containing olive oil and stir non-stop. After 20 minutes, the onions should be done enough to blend with the mashed potatoes.
How to Choose a Wine to Go with Peking Duck
People who enjoy Peking Duck know that it’s salty, sweet, hot, and bitter. When choosing a wine with Peking Duck, however, it’s most important to pair the plum sauce of the dish with a preferred wine. White wine with no more than a moderate alcohol content, little to no oak, and significant acidity can make a great choice. Chenin Blanc is an example of white wine that pairs well with this dish.
For those who prefer red wine, Zinfandel is just one example of a wine that helps to make the richness of the duck sauce much more apparent. Taking the time to consider the perfect wine and these other extra steps makes all the difference between an experience and a meal.