Monday, January 16, 2012

Peking Duck And Chinese Pancakes

"Peking Duck, or Peking Roast Duck is a famous duck dish from Beijing that has been prepared since the imperial era, and is now considered one of China's national foods."

"The dish is prized for the 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. Ducks bred specially for the dish are slaughtered after 65 days and seasoned before being roasted in a closed or hung oven."

"The meat is eaten with pancakes, spring onions, and hoisin sauce or sweet bean sauce. The two most notable restaurants in Beijing which serve this delicacy are Quanjude and Bianyifang, two centuries-old establishments which have become household names."

"In 1864, the Quanjude (全聚德) restaurant was established in Beijing. Yang Quanren (楊全仁), the founder of Quanjude, developed the hung oven to roast ducks. With its innovations and efficient management, the restaurant became well known in China, introducing the Peking Duck to the rest of the world."

"By the mid-20th century, Peking Duck had become a national symbol of China, favored by tourists and diplomats alike. For example, Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State of the United States, met Premier Zhou Enlai in the Great Hall of the People on July 10, during his first visit to China. After a round of inconclusive talks in the morning, the delegation was served Peking Duck for lunch, which became Kissinger's favorite. The Americans and Chinese issued a joint statement the following day, inviting President Richard Nixon to visit China in 1972."

Gung Hay Fat Choy! ["Congratulations and best wishes for prosperity"!] Chinese New Year 2012, also known as Spring Festival, the year of the dragon, arrives January 23, 2012.

"It traditionally is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture. "On the Eve of Chinese New Year, supper is a feast with families. Food will include such items as pigs, ducks, chicken and sweet delicacies. The family will end the night with firecrackers."

"Early the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes. The Chinese New Year tradition is to reconcile, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone."

Peking Duck and Chinese Pancakes Photo Courtesy wikiHOW
From wikiHOW

Chinese Pancake Recipe

10 1/2 ounces (300 grams) of flour
1 tablespoon of sugar
8 1/2 ounces (240 ml) of boiling water
flour (for dusting)

Combine the flour and sugar, then slowly mix in the boiling water. Try to get a sticky dough mixture. Sprinkle flour in the mixture and onto your counter/work space.

Scoop the dough onto the surface and begin to fold the flour into the dough. Knead for a few minutes and add more flour if necessary. Stop when you have reached a consistency that does not stick any more. Cover the dough with the towel for 30 minutes and place it on the side.

Remove the towel and divide the dough in half. Dust your rolling pin with flour and roll each half into a thin layer about 1/2 cm in thickness. Use your cutter and cut out circles in the rolled dough. Place the excess dough on the side; don't throw it out. Use a bit of oil on one side of each circle and put two circles together. While storing the circles, place them under the towel to keep in the moisture.

Repeat the flouring stage as you re-roll them each pair together. Dry heat a frying pan over medium heat. Dry heating is basically heating something without liquid, such as oil. When the pan is hot, add a pancake to it. Cook each side for about 1 1/2 minutes and then remove the pieces in half. Store under the towel until ready to serve or after all of the pancakes has been made.

How To Roast Duckling/How To Make Peking Duck

Choose a tender bird, usually labeled as duckling. Prick the duck's skin all over. Do not truss the bird. Put a steamer or rack inside a large, deep pot. Add 1 inch (2 to 3 cm) of stock or water.Place the duck on the steamer with the breast side up. Bring the stock or water to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it steam gently for 1 hour.Take the partly cooked duck out of the pot and carefully pat the bird dry. Take care not to rip the skin.

Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Place another rack in the bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius). Combine 1/4 cup (235 ml) hot water, 2 tbs. (30 ml) dark soy sauce, and 1 tbs. (15 ml) honey. Prick the duck all over once again and brush the bird with the mixture of water, soy sauce and honey.

Set the duck on a cake rack on the middle oven rack or directly on the oven rack. Put a large pan to catch the drippings on the rack under the duck. Roast the duck for exactly 20 minutes. If you want meat that is more well done, lower the oven heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) after 20 minutes and roast the duck for 30 minutes more. Remove the roasted duck from the oven. Let the bird rest for 10 minutes prior to carving.

Cut the back of the duck into about 15-30, quarter-inch thick, 2-inch long pieces, and put on platter. Prepare condiments. these can range from cucumbers to bean sprouts to fermented black beans, or anything that suits your fancy.

Text Credits: Wikipedia || Wikipedia || wikiHOW || wikiHOW || wikiHOW

Image Credit: wikiHOW

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