I wanted to ring in 2010 quietly. My original plans fell through & then I thought, my ideal would be to stay at home with take-out Chinese food. This is what I would have done if I was at home in Canada, where there is good Chinese take-out that is open on New Year's Eve. In Germany, however, there's little Chinese take-out, and I think the only thing open on NYE is the local Donair shop. While I like a good donair, it's not the "pick out the container food that is going to last me until 11pm" food. I decided I was going to make my own. And if you're going to do anything, you might as well do it right. Hence my decision to make a Peking Duck. For 2 people. With homemade Mandarin Pancakes.
Here I managed to find a 1kg wild duck, which was perfect for 2 people. I thawed it, and plucked it, because my duck still had lots of feathers attached. It reminded me that I should make an appointment with my aesthetician.
Then I dipped the duck into boiling water. I think this is to make the skin taught. I then let the duck dry. After it was dry, I brushed a mixture of:
5 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp 5 spice powder
2 Tbsp brown sugar
4 Tbsp rice wine
The duck got coated in this & it was poured into the cavity.
Next, the duck is supposed to dry, and I read about putting it in front of a fan. When I brought out the fan, the workaholic grew concerned. He suggested I use the "fan only" feature of the oven. A good idea. My only concern was, how did he know there's a fan only feature and I didn't?
After 6 hours, the duck was dry, so I filled the pan with water, left it on a grate & roasted it at 200°, starting with the breast side down, then up, then down again. I think it was in there for about 1 hour. Let the bird rest & then slice.
Homemade Mandarin pancakes (I'm not going to give a recipe because I'm not good at them), stuffed with Hoisin sauce, green onions, cucumber & carrots, as well as slices of duck. A good way to bid 2009 farewell. Things I'd do different next time: get a bigger duck. It was really good.
As it turns out, we didn't ring in the new year quietly. I got a text message & at 11:40pm, ended up in a bus on the way to a bar where a few friends were getting sparkling wine ready. Oh well, I tried. At least the duck worked.
2 days ago