The origin of the Peking Duck dates back to the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644), about 600 years ago. Cooks from all over China traveled to the capital Beijing to cook for the Emperor. It was a prestigious occupation as only the best chefs could enter the palace kitchens. A top cook was even able to reach the rank of a minister! It was in these kitchens where dishes of exceptional quality such as the Peking Duck was first created and crafted to perfection by palace chefs. However, many of the recipes for such foods of the Emperor were later smuggled out of the kitchen and onto the streets of Beijing. With the eventual fall of the Ching dynasty in 1911, court chefs who left the Forbidden City set up restaurants around Beijing and brought the Peking Duck and other delicious dishes to the masses.
Peking Duck is originally from Beijing, which is the capital of Mainland China. It is prepared with a kind of fruit tree, so it has a fruity flavor. Its skin is very crispy. You also eat it in a very special way. First you need to use a special bread. Then you can start your tasty meal. Usually, you cannot finish a whole Peking Duck, so you can make soup with the leftovers.
Most Chinese people are very fond of Peking Roast Duck. You can go to a Chinese restaurant to order this dish rather than prepare it at home because it takes some time to cook it, and you need a lot of things to prepare it.
The duck is divided into three parts and made in three different ways. The first way is the most popular. The meat is selected from the best part of the duck and is boned. Green onions and dressing are added to make it savory and a little sweet. It is served with thin crepes. You just spread the dressing on the crepe, add some green onions, and roll it up.
The second way is to use the part of the duck with less meat. It can be fried with garlic, chilies, ginger or onions. A third way allows you to make use of the entire duck. You can make soup with cabbage and the duck meat with bones.
Directions to make the peking duck
- Rinse the duck inside and out, and pat dry. Cut off tail and discard. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, white pepper and cloves. Sprinkle one teaspoon of the mixture into the cavity of the duck. Stir one tablespoon of the soy sauce into the remaining spice mixture and rub evenly over the entire outside of the bird. Cut one of the green onions in half and tuck inside the cavity. Cover and refrigerate the bird for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Place duck breast side up on a rack in a big enough wok or pot and steam for an hour adding a little more water, if necessary, as it evaporates. Lift duck with two large spoons, and drain juices and green onion.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place duck breast side up in a roasting pan and prick skin all over using a fork.
- Roast for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. While the duck is roasting, mix together the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and honey. After 30 minutes, brush the honey mixture onto the duck and return it to the oven. Turn the heat up to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). Roast for 5 minutes, or until the skin is richly browned. Do not allow the skin to char.
- Prepare the duck sauce by mixing the plum jam with the sugar, vinegar and chutney in a small serving bowl. Chop remaining green onions and place them into a separate bowl. Place whole duck onto a serving platter and garnish with orange slices and fresh parsley. Use plum sauce and onions for dipping.
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