April 05, 2008

Gourmet Dinner Parties Part 2

Ok the next recipe and main course for this banquet is the Peking Duck. Its expensive when you order it out and have to usually order it early. There is a reason for this as you will see when you make this. Plan ahead because it takes a couple days but it is sooooooo worth it! I once had real Peking Duck when my ex and I were in Taiwan. I swore I was not leaving that country until I had the real thing. The Chinese do it as a complete meal tho. The skin is served in the pancakes, the meat is served in a stir fry and the bones are cooked to make a soup. It was delish and I wished I could have taken home the leftovers. I once took a cooking class with Martin Yan. He was duly impressed when we talked and he heard that I had made Peking Duck. I have a pic of him and he signed my copy of his book. This recipe isn't hard but it is time consuming as there's waiting time. Plan ahead.


1 duck, 5lbs

1tb. salt

1tb. rice wine

1/4c. honey or maple syrup

1/2c hoisin sauce

4 scallions

Parsley for garnish

For this dinner party I doubled this recipe. Early in the day before you will serve the duck, rinse it under lukewarm running water and drain. Pour 5qts boiling water slowly in a fine stream over both sides of the duck, so that its skin becomes almost white. Drain well, pat skin and body cavity dry, and rub the body cavity with salt and rice wine. Place the duck breast side down, on a wire rack on top of a roasting pan; refrigerate, uncovered for several hrs. Meanwhile, make the thin pancakes (recipes follows). Refrigerate pancakes till 15min. before serving duck. To make scallion brushes, peel the tough outer layers from the white ends of raw scallions; cut that part into 1 1/2in. lengths. Sliver it down most of its length leaving one end attached or if cutting both ends leaving some uncut in the middle. Soak the scallions in water and refrigerate for a half hr or more before serving so they curl. Brush the duck skin with the honey. Refrigerate again, breast side up, uncovered, overnight, till 5hrs serving the next day. Then heat oven to 175 degrees. Place the duck on a rack in a roasting pan breast side down, and roast for 1 1/2hrs. Then turn the heat up to 325degrees and turn the duck breast side up. Roast for another 1 1/2hrs till golden and the skin is crisp.

About 15min. before the duck is done, steam the pancakes over a med. flame till they are soft and heated thru, about 10min. Remove pancakes from the steamer and fold in quarters and set aside. Place duck on a lg. serving platter. Garnish with parsley and the pancakes. Place the hoisin sauce in a sm. bowl; place the drained scallions on a sm. plate. Each diner places one or two pieces of duck at the center of a pancake, dabs on some hoisin sauce and adds a scallion brush, then rolls or folds the filled pancake into a pkg. to pick up and eat.


Again I doubled this. These are interesting and fun to make!

2 1/2c. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

Flour, for dusting

Oil, for brushing

In a lg. bowl, combine the flour and salt, then gradually add 1c. boiling water, blending till mixture crumbles into pellets the size of sm. peas. Press mixture into a ball, turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead to form a soft, smooth dough. Shape the dough into a roll about 16in. long and 2 1/2 in. wide. Cut the roll crosswise into 8 pieces, then cut each in half again. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside. Lightly dust a pastry board with flour. Place two slices of the dough on the board; with fingers flatten each into a circle about 3in. across and 1/4in. thick. Brush the tops generously with oil, then place one on top of the other, oiled sides together.

Lightly dust a rolling pin with flour, then roll the circle from the center to form a thin pancake about 7in. in diameter, turning it over several times to roll both sides evenly. In an ungreased wok over med. flame cook each circle on one side till light brown, about 2-3 min. then flip over and do the other side the same. Remove to a plate. Carefully separate the two layers, making two thin pancakes. Stack these, one on top of the other, browned side up. Repeat with rest of dough. Refrigerate till needed then follow instructions in Peking duck recipe. These get steamed.

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