Duck, consider yourself conquered

6 Jul

What I learnt from another blogger

I read a beautiful blog today. It was about nothing and everything all at once. Just the musings of a girl in love; with her man and her life. I wanna be like that! Heart on my sleeve, dream-chasing and unafraid of what judging eyes will see and surmise.

It has inspired me to be more passionate in, and about, my everyday life. I think (correction: I know) I take a lot of things for granted – beautiful, loyal and inspiring friends, a seriously awesome relationship with a lad I am grounded, humbled and awed by every day (though from time to time I unintentionally sabotage that serious awesomeness – sorry babe) AND to top it all off, an amazing family who I don’t see enough but am always thinking of.

Celebrate your life my friends! You only live it once, and no one else is going to celebrate it for you, unless of course you have Mother Teresa tendencies, and if you do I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be reading this blog!

In the meantime, I’m going to celebrate a dish which has its origins in imperial China and is now considered a national treasure – Peking Duck!

I won’t go on about it (OK, I will), but the crispy skinned duck pancakes were nothing short of sensational – FACT.

This is one of those meals where, mid-mouthful, you feel compelled to shake your head & mumble ‘mmmmmm, this’ssooogood’, all the while attempting to chew/swallow and avoid losing any of the delicious mouthful!

Another myth-defying fact – it was easy! So easy for me actually, as I arrived home from work to find the bird cooking away in the oven, ready for a basting! (One more fact – I did not single-handedly create this goodness. I’d say it was more of a joint effort, with more input from the aforementioned amazing lad than me!)

In all seriousness, I think it’s fair to say that the most challenging thing about recreating this Chinese favourite was sourcing the duck and remembering to take it out of the freezer.

Before I unveil the winning recipe, I have one more confession – we didn’t make the pancakes. Why would you when you can buy a pack of 100 frozen pancakes for $8!? In saying that, I’m sure there are plenty of great, simple Chinese pancake recipes getting around online if you can’t find any at your local Asian grocer or you don’t have one nearby.

Crispy skinned duck pancakes

(Taken from Olive magazine)

Ingredients

  • 1 duck

Marinade

  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tbsp Chinese five-spice powder

To serve

  • shredded cucumber
  • shredded spring onion
  • hoisin sauce (add 1tbl of water and a squeeze of lemon juice if you like)
  • pancakes (buy fresh or frozen from an Asian grocer)

Heat the oven to 150C/fan 130C.

Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl.

Trim or pull away any fat from the inside of the duck, then prick all over with a skewer. Put on a rack over a large roasting tin and pour over a kettleful of boiling water – this helps the skin go nice and crispy. Discard the water, then put the duck back on its rack in the tray and cook for 2 hours.

Turn up the oven to 190C/fan 170C and roast the duck for a further 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, brush with the marinade and cook for another 10 minutes. Brush again (using the rest of the marinade) and put back for 5-10 minutes until nicely glazed – you will really notice the difference at this point.

Rest before carving and serve on a big plate with the pancakes, cucumber, spring onion and hoisin sauce!

The best thing about this is that you can make a meal of it or enjoy with a few friends over a vino and a natter.

Til next time,

Miss Piggie xx

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