Yeah, we’re all about fusion here.
Let me back up a bit.
For New Year’s Eve, Bill made Peking Duck. We haven’t done this in YEARS – not since before we bought this house, and we’ve been here about nine and a half years. So that’s a long time.
We’ve been wanting to do Peking Duck lately, and this was the perfect opportunity. We had friends coming that night, so why not trot out something special, right?
I worked part of the day, and when I got home, here’s what I saw:
That’s the duck.
It’s hanging from the light/ceiling fan in the music room.
Why the music room?
Because we can shut the door and keep the cats out.
An added bonus? The fan.
The idea is to dry out the duck’s skin as much as possible before roasting it, so you hang it for a total of about 4 hours.
Don’t worry, there’s a big bowl underneath to catch the drips.
See the little droplet?
Apparently when Bill first hung the duck, the knot wasn’t tight enough or something, and the duck fell. Fortunately it landed IN the big bowl below.
After the duck has been hanging and drying (you baste it with a mixture of soy sauce and I don’t know what else about halfway through, too) for about 4 hours, it’s time to roast it.
This is the exciting part.
Ducks, in case you didn’t know, have a lot of fat. It keeps them warm and it helps them float in the water (when they’re alive, I mean, though I imagine they’d float if they were dead, too), which is a good thing.
But not so good when you cook them. The fat melts and becomes a TREMENDOUS amount of liquid fat that gets hot and if any remaining moisture in the duck body drips into the hot fat, it SPLATTERS loudly and enthusiastically and repeatedly in the oven.
Then guess what happens!
The splattered oil that is now coating your oven begins to get EVEN HOTTER – and before you know it, you’ve got smoke BILLOWING out of the vent and filling your house and setting off all the fire alarms scattered throughout the ceilings on several floors.
So you open the windows and turn the fan above the oven on in the feeble hope that it will direct the fatty smoke out the back door instead of upstairs to the bedrooms, but that doesn’t happen and soon your husband is upstairs fighting with the fire alarm on the second floor ceiling because one of you must have accidentally painted it the summer before last when you were painting all the rooms upstairs, because now he can’t BUDGE THE BLEEPING THING and it keeps shrieking and shrieking and you bring him the screwdriver and hammer he asks for and eventually, FINALLY, he got the thing opened and disabled.
Ah, peace. Smoky peace.
After half an hour of
smoking roasting, you take the duck out, turn it over so now it’s breast-side down on the rack. Then you put it back in to roast some more.
Before we put it back in the oven, I spooned as much of the melted fat out of the pan as I could. While I was doing that, a little explosion of water and oil occurred and splattered oil up and down my arm. Yeah. Fun.
Anyway, back into the oven went the duck for another half an hour, I believe. Then we turned it over one more time and around twenty minutes later it was done. Maybe a bit longer. I don’t know. I wasn’t in charge. I was just the oil spooner. And the Mandarin pancake maker.
Mandarin pancakes are basically very thin flour tortillas with a little sesame oil. You make a dough of flour and boiling water, knead it a bit, let it rest for fifteen minutes. Then roll it out, cut it into small circles, then sandwich the circles together with a little sesame oil in the middle. Roll the circles out to about 6” in diameter, then, on a hot, dry griddle, cook the pancakes til they’re slightly browned on both sides and slightly puffy. Next, you peel the two sides of the pancake apart. I know, cool, huh? The sesame oil keeps the two halves from really sticking completely, so once they’re cooked, you’ve got two very thin pancakes. Cover them all so they don’t dry out, and keep them warm.
Now, when you serve Peking duck, you slice the skin off first and cut it into pieces around 2” x 1” or so. Put these on one end of your platter. Then slice up the duck meat into small portions, roughly the same size as the skin. Put these on the platter, too.
Now bring the platter to the table and here’s what else you have with the duck and what you do.
You take a pancake. Then, with a scallion “brush”, smear a bit of Hoisin sauce on the pancake, then place the scallion on the pancake, too, and then a piece of skin (which should be nice and crispy) and a piece of duck. Then wrap the whole thing up, tiny burrito-style, and eat.
Very, very yummy.
And amazingly, we had leftovers.
And so, with the leftovers, Bill made maki rolls.
First, he re-crisped the skin by putting it on on a rack over a cookie sheet and heating it in a 375 F oven for about ten minutes.
Next, he placed a sheet of nori on a mat and added some sushi rice (we had some leftover – he’d made shrimp and avocado maki rolls for New Year’s eve as well).
Then he put some duck skin on the rice, and drizzled some Hoisin sauce on the skin.
Next, some avocado…
Then he carefully rolled everything up…
And, voila! Peking Duck Maki Roll!
He sliced each roll into about 6 pieces and served with a bit of soy sauce. I didn’t bother with the soy sauce – they were just fine (to me) without anything extra.
They disappeared pretty quickly.
So quickly that most of my pictures of the finished rolls are a bit blurry.
Okay, that’s not really why they’re blurry. It was dark, I was rushing.
Those maki rolls weren’t going to hang around for very long.
They were very yummy, by the way.