I’ve planned for a homemade Peking Duck for months with lots of research resulting in the purchase of a vertical roasting rack. I was totally convinced that a vertical rack is what will produce a perfect roast duck. I came close, very close. Alas, I dropped the duck on the floor when I took it out of the oven! Sigh! The duck skin split and I stuck it back in the oven to ‘kill the germs’. The result is a little burnt, but still a very flavorful duck. Time to log the lessons learnt so that I can do it again, hopefully a perfect Peking Duck next time.
I figured a vertical roasting rack has to be the way to effectively scald, dry, and roast the duck in this multi-day exercise.
The vertical roasting rack came in really handy when I need to shock the duck skin with hot water bath and drying it in the refrigerator.
I used convection roast to have the air circulate as much as possible during roasting. Roast at a low temperature and rotate the duck frequently so that the skin doesn’t get burnt before all the fat is drained.
This cooking adventure was almost perfect until I tried to take it out of the oven. The duck toppled over and dropped on the floor 😨! Lesson learnt. Stand the duck in a deep roasting dish the next time!
My roast duck is a little burnt this time and still a little fatty. The flavor is marvelous however. I think I have the basics down. A few more practices and honing the right oven temperature should give me the perfect homemade Peking Duck.
- 2 Tbsp chinese five spice powder
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp ground white pepper
- 2 pieces dried mandarin peel
- 6 pieces anise stars
- 3 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 5 Tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 Tbsp sea salt
Hot water bath
- 6 cups water
- 3 stalks spring onion
- 3 pieces ginger slices
- 1 cup vinegar
- ½ cup golden syrup
- Wash and stand duck on the vertical rack to drain. Pat dry with paper towel if needed.
- Mix five spice powder, brown sugar, dried mandarin peel, star anise, dark soy sauce and hoisin sauce in a bowl.
- Transfer duck to a roasting dish and lay it horizontally.
- Spoon some of the marinade inside the duck. Rub the mixture all over inside and out. Cover with plastic wrap and marinade overnight in the refrigerator.
- The next morning, stand the duck on the vertical rack again and drain the marinade. Reserve the marinade.
- Rub the tablespoon of salt all over the duck and let is season for at least another hour in the refrigerator.
- In the mean time, bring the reserved marinade to a boil in a small saucepan. This is your Peking Duck sauce. Set aside to cool.
Hot water bath
- In a large pot, bring all the ingredients to a rolling boil for 5 minutes.
- Stand the duck vertically on a dish or in the sink.
- Laddle the boiling water over the duck and let it scald the skin. Let the duck stand for 5 minutes.
- Repeat three times, bringing the water mixture to a boil again each time.
Chill and Dry the Duck
- Let the duck air dry for half and hour in a cool, shady spot after the hot water bath.
- Keep it standing vertically, chill the duck in the refrigerator overnight for at least 24 hours.
- The skin must be completely dry before roasting.
Roast the Duck!
- Remove the duck from the refrigerator an hour before roasting to bring it to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F at convection roast setting if this is available on your oven.
- Keep the duck standing vertically in a oven proof dish, roast it in the oven at 375 degrees setting for 30 minutes, rotating the duck at 10 minute intervals to make sure it is evenly roasted on all sides.
- Reduce the heat to 275 degrees F, continue to roast the duck for another hour (or longer as needed), rotating at 10-minute interval until skin is crispy.
- Remove duck from the oven and let it cool until safe to handle.
- Save the drippings in dish! Its the most delicious fat for other stir-fry dishes.
- Carve the duck into thin slices with a very sharp knife. Try to ensure each slice has the skin and the meat. I also find it easier to carve with the duck standing on the roasting rack!
Serve the Duck!
- Slice cucumber and green onions (white-part only) and set aside.
- Steam the lotus buns until soft.
- Open up the lotus bun, spread a layer of cooled Peking Duck sauce, and layer with the sliced duck skin and meat. Top with sliced green onions and cucumber. Top with additional sauce if desired.
- Enjoy! Its a treat!
Last but not least, save the duck bones! Cover it with water in a soup pot and boil it for duck broth for delicious Duck Noodles!