Peking duck is a dish from Beijing (Peking) that has been prepared since the imperial era. The meat is characterized by its thin, crisp skin, with authentic versions of the dish serving mostly the skin and little meat, sliced in front of the diners by the cook.
Note: 2.6kg serves approximately 6 portions.
2.6kg frozen Duck
For the honey syrup mixture
juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp clear honey
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
150ml Shaohsing rice wine or dry Sherry
20 shop-bought Chinese pancakes
, sliced into matchsticks
Place all the honey syrup ingredients in a large pan with 1.2 litres water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 20 mins.
Meanwhile, rinse the duck well, blot it completely dry with kitchen paper, then put it on a rack in a roasting tin. Using a ladle, pour the syrup over the duck several times until the skin is completely coated on all sides. Leave the duck to dry out, uncovered, in the fridge overnight. When the duck has dried, the skin should feel like parchment paper.
Heat oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 9. Sit the duck breast-side up on the rack in the roasting tin. Add 150ml water to the tin to prevent the fat from spattering, then roast in the oven for 15 mins. Reduce the heat to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and continue to roast for 1 hr 10 mins.
Remove the duck from the oven and let it sit for at least 10 mins before you carve it. Using a cleaver or a sharp knife, cut the skin and meat into pieces and arrange them on a warm serving platter. Or, if you prefer, shred the meat using two forks.
Serve at once with the pancakes, spring onions and a bowl of hoisin sauce.