Sichuan Five Spice Peking Duck

Sichuan Five Spice Peking Duck
Recipe & photo courtesy of Anna Rossi
For the Duck
1 4-5 lb whole duck, opt for “Air Chilled” for the crispiest skin if possible
5 teaspoons Sichuan five spice
4 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese wine
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 clove garlic, crushed but still whole
1” x 3” shaving of orange zest
2 tablespoons salt
For the Stuffing
1” cube fresh ginger
6 cloves garlic
½ orange, chopped
2 scallions, just the green ends left over from the fixings (below)
For the Pancakes
2 cups All Purpose flour
1 cup boiling water
For the Fixings
Hoisin sauce
Cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise
Scallion, thinly sliced lengthwise
Carrot, shredded  is also nice

2-3 days in advance:
Prepare the duck Remove the thawed duck from packaging and rinse under cold water.  With great care, work to separate the skin from the meat on the breast and back. Try not to tear through the skin. Removing jewelry from your hands will help. 

Bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Place the duck in a colander and pour the boiling water on top of the duck, dividing between the breast and back. Instantly, you will see the skin tighten. This step shrinks the pores.  Allow the steam to evaporate.  Use a paper towel to blot off excess water.

Make the marinade
Toast 3 tsp five spice powder for 30 seconds in a small pan over low heat.  Add maple syrup, soy sauce, chinese wine, brown sugar, garlic clove and orange zest. Bring to a simmer, then turn off.

In a small bowl, combine 2 TBS kosher salt with the remaining 2 tsp Five Spice Powder.
Marinate the duck Use a basting brush to generously coat the interior cavity of the duck with the marinade and the meat beneath the skin. Place the remaining mixture in an airtight container in the fridge and save until you roast the duck.
Place the duck on a cooling rack set on a rimmed baking sheet.  Generously smother the skin all over with the kosher salt & Five Spice mixture. Place uncovered in the fridge for 1-3 days.
Day of:
Stuff the duck Remove the duck from the fridge. The skin should have a leather-like texture and feel nearly dry to the touch. Allow the duck to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Stuff the cavity with ginger, garlic, scallion and orange. If you plan to use a rotisserie, tie the legs together with bakers twine.  If baking in the oven, they can be left open. 

Roast the duck
Preheat your oven to 450*. Place duck, breast side up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Bake for 10 minutes.  

Lower temperature to 350* and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Remove duck from the oven and flip over so it is breast side down. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Remove the duck from the oven and flip back so it breast side up.  Bake for a final 20 minutes.  If you like a sticky texture, you can brush with the left over marinade at this point. The total bake time is approximately 70 minutes.
Check to see if the internal temperature has reached 165* and remove from oven.  Let rest 20 minutes before carving.
For the pancakes:
Make the dough In a large bowl, add 1 cup of boiling water to 2 cups flour. Mix and knead until the dough ball is smooth and elastic.  Place back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.  

Roll out the pancakes Divide the ball into 18 equal pieces.  On a floured work surface, roll the small balls out to form thin pancakes. 

Cook the pancakes Steam in a dumpling steaming basket or pan fry with a little olive oil in a non-stick or cast iron skillet. Stack them on a plate and keep them wrapped in foil to stay warm until you are ready to serve.
To serve:
Dress a pancake with hoisin sauce, scallion, cucumber and duck.  Roll it up and enjoy!


Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing