Peking Duck Western-Style Two Ways

By • October 6, 2011 • 6 Comments



Author Notes: Classic Peking duck is a demanding specialty for a home cook like me. But there are ways to closely duplicate the same crackling skin and succulent meat at home. I learned those two versions from a Chinese Cook Book, which was published back in 1979. There wasn’t anything about the apples in the recipe but my Mom and aunt always used to roast duck or goose with fresh apples or pears or some times with dried apricots and prunes, and I follow this tradition.Kukla

Serves 4-6

  • • 1 4 to 5-pounds duckling
  • • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • • 1/2 of teaspoon ground coriander
  • • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black or white pepper
  • • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • • 5 scallions
  • • 3 firm Granny Smith or Fuji apples, sliced into 1-inch wedges
  • • 1 tablespoon honey
  • • 1/2 cup Hoisin or Plum sauce
  • • Fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
  1. Method 1. Rinse duck inside and out; pat dry. Cut off tail and discard; reserve giblets for another use.
  2. Mix together all spices; sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the mixture inside duck. Stir 1 tablespoon of soy sauce into remaining spice mixture, and then rub evenly over the whole bird. Cut 1of the scallions and tuck inside cavity. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Place duck in a roasting pan breast side up, on a rack over 2-inches boiling water, on the top of the stove. Cover with foil and steam for 1 hour, adding hot water, if necessary. Cool duck to room temperature, so it firms up; then drain and discard juices and scallion from cavity.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 to 375 degrees F. depending on your oven. Place duck, breast side up, on rack in the same roasting pan and prick skin all over with a fork. Salt and pepper the apples. Tuck as many apple slices into the birds cavity and the remaining slices around the bird. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Mix remaining 2 tablespoons soy with honey and brush on the duck. Turn oven temperature to 450 degrees. Bake for about 7 to 10 minutes or until skin becomes richly browned; do not allow skin to char.
  6. While duck is roasting, cut remaining scallions and tops in 1 1/2-inch pieces, and then in thin strips. Serve the roasted apples, scallions and Hoisin or Plum sauce in separate bowls if you cut duck before serving, or arrange the apples around the bird on a serving platter.
  7. Method 2 (simplified). Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Place the marinated overnight bird on a rack in a roasting pan and prick skin all over with a fork. Bake for 4 hours. Prick duck several times during roasting to drain more fat.
  8. Brash 2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce (instead of soy sauce and honey mixture) on duck, and bake for 10 minutes or until skin becomes richly browned; do not allow skin to char. I use the second method mostly when roasting just duck legs.
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Tags: Succulent and beautiful Holiday dish

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almost 3 years ago student epicure

very compelling! i've made traditional peking duck once and then decided never to bother again and just buy them in chinatown. i really want to try this though -- love recipes that take traditional asian flavors/concepts and use a modern, western twist.

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almost 3 years ago Kukla

Thank you student epicure for the comment!
I have a close friend, her mother in law is Chinese and she told me that even Chinese limit to restaurant cooking where the duck is prepared by chefs who have long years of experience and special equipment.

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almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Love this Kukla, you have simplified what can be a very drawn out process. Going to try this next time I make duck. Love the basting sauce also.

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almost 3 years ago Kukla

Thank you sdebrango! I know you will like this method.

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almost 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This sounds amazing - I was reading about steaming a goose online for the same effect - love the spices too. Great photo too!!!

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almost 3 years ago Kukla

Thank you aargesi for the nice comment! I have been using this method for many years now, and shared the recipe with my friends. Before I used to precook the duck but I like this method a lot more because I don’t need to wash one more pot and it is easier to handle the hot bird and most of all the skin becomes crispier a lot faster.