Chinese New Year Part 2: Roast Duck

What’s a Chinese celebration without roast duck of some sort?

Luckily the blizzard raid left this jewel:

But no scallions or cucumbers… oh well. The important thing is that I had duck, and some honey that will work in lieu of maltose for now.

This baby was so frozen that I had to leave it out for about 4 hours before I could remove the innards. The fat was frozen into the shape of the bag!

Once defrosted, I dipped that sucker into a vat of boiling water for 2 minutes, and then rubbed it all over with a mixture of maltose, water, and a little bit of vinegar. Look out how nice and round (and redistributed) that fat is. The skin got nice and tight.

It was cold out, and I didn’t want the fridge to smell funny, so I hung the duck from our faucet to dry overnight. It hung there pretty happily, and by the morning, the skin was totally dry, which is what I needed to make it super crispy!

It occurred to me that all of the heat from our oven comes from coils at the top of the oven, and I’m pretty sure that string is flammable, so I covered it with some foil.

Don’t forget the pan to catch the dripping on the bottom! I guess I could have done this like a normal person and laid the duck on its belly and just flipped it, but I really wanted to cook it hanging so the fat dripped along the length of the duck!

Boy am I glad I covered the top of the string with foil. Even the sides got completely charred. 1.5-2 hours later, the duck was beautifully browned and done. The internal temperature was about 165 in the breast/leg/whereever I shoved my thermometer, and the skin was super crispy.

While the duck was cooling, I made some wrappers. It would have taken too long to make the pancakes, and I was going to make steamed bread anyway, so I just put some dough aside for the duck. Green beans were literally the only green thing we had in the fridge.

And the duck’s ready to eat! All that fat helped crisp the skin and keep the duck moist. Next time, when I have hoisin sauce, I will blog about how to make this duck such that it makes its own sauce!

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