Crispy skin duck is one of the delights of Chinese and Thai cooking, and although steeped with mystery, you can easily created it yourself using some simple recipes and some magical tips which are outlined in this article.
The Chinese have been roasting ducks for hundreds of years and the ultimate crispy duck is Peking duck, but mostly what you buy in restaurants is produced using a much simpler and quicker process via roasting or frying whole ducks or pieces of duck.
Crispy skin duck is served with various sauces and spices. Recipes for some of these sauces are also included. Learn how to make fragrant and tasty crispy skin duck the easy way.
Preheat the oven to about 420 degrees F (230 degrees C). You will need a rack that can be placed in a baking pan to suspend the duck over the base of the pan. You will need a moderately deep roasting pan (about 3 inches; 7.5 cm deep), that is placed in the centre of the oven. Remove any excess fat from the neck and body cavity. Next, thoroughly clean the duck inside and out and dry with paper towels. Using a sharp fork or knife, prick the skin all over. Fold the neck skin under the body. Place the duck, breast-side up on the rack in the pan and pour the boiling water over the duck, collecting the liquid in the pan. This tightens the skin and helps to make the skin crisp when cooked. Let the duck cool and pour any water that has collected in the body cavity into the pan. Thoroughly dry the duck, inside and out, and rub with salt, pepper and any spices that you want to use. Replace the duck onto the rack, above the pan, and roast, breast side up for about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the duck over, and drain any liquid into the pan. Roast again, breast-side down again for another 45 minutes.
Turn again and continue roasting and turning until the duck skin is brown and crisp, all over. Total roasting time is generally about 2-3 hours, depending on your oven. Remove the duck from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes before carving. Discard liquid remaining in the roasting pan.
To roast the duck you will need a wire rack that can be set into a medium deep tray. Rub the duck, inside and out with the ginger, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Squeeze the lemon halves over the duck and place the lemon pieces inside the cavity of the duck. Refrigerate the duck on the rack in the pan for about 4 hours. The pan collects the drips and the refrigerator dried out the skin so it will crisp.
Preheat the oven to 85 degrees C (175 degrees F). Bake the duck on the rack in the pan, uncovered for about 6 to 8 hours, rotating 2-4 times during this period through.
Remove the duck from the oven. Increase the oven temperature to very hot 250 degrees C (480 degrees F). Discard any fat and excess liquid from the pan. Brush the outside of the duck on all sides with one cup of the hoisin sauce, rubbing it in. Replace the duck on the rack in the baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes until the skin is crispy and sticky (test is and roast for an extra few minutes if required).
Remove the duck from the oven and allow to cook at room temperature for about 10 minutes. This will allow to skin to becomes very crisp and dry.
Dry the breasts and rub the skins with the salt and spices and score the skin diagonally with a sharp knife without cutting deeply into the flesh. Place the breasts, skin-side down into a heavy cast iron skillet or frying pan set on low to medium heat. After frying gently for 7-12 minutes, the fat will have dissolved away from the skin. Increase the heat to high and fry for another 2-4 minutes to brown the skins. Turn the duck breasts over( skin-side up) and cook on moderate heat for another 3-5 minutes until the duck surface starts to caramelize. Turn the heat off and let the breast cook slowly (3-5 minutes) in the residual heat to cool slightly before serving. Drain the breast on paper towels and slice for serving.
Score the skin of the breasts, right through to the the flesh to form skin strips. Season the skin with lots of pepper and salt. Place a heavy cat iron frying pan on the stove set to a moderate heat. Lay the duck breasts skin down onto the pan straight away, not waiting for the pan to warm through. Leave the breasts undisturbed for 10 minutes. The fat under the skin will slowly dissolve and liquefy and this will brown the skin and make it crisp. Wait until the skin has started to brown and then flip the breast over and cook the other side for about two minutes on moderate heat and two minutes on high heat. Remove the duck breasts the pan from the heat and let the breasts cool in the pan for about 5 minutes while you make the orange sauce.
Place the orange slices in the hot pan and sprinkle with sugar. Turn the slices and sprinkle the other side with sugar. Cook until the sugar has started to caramelize in the lemon juice and left-overs from the duck. When the lemon slices have browned slightly, add orange juice, and stir oranges until the mixture starts to simmer. Cook until the cause reduces in volume and thickens slightly. Pour the orange sauce over the duck breast when you serve them.
for Blood plum sauce
Wash and rinse the duck using plenty of cold running water. Remove any excess fat from inside and around the outside of the gut cavity. Shake and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the skin all over with good shakes of Sichuan pepper and salt. Cover the duck with a towel or foil and allow to marinate for 406 hours or overnight.
Put the duck into a large steamer basket and suspend it over a pan of boiling water, cover with a tight-fitting lid and steam for about 90 minutes, or until the duck is tender and cooked inside (test the juices with a skewer). Remove the duck and cool down in a refrigerator.
In the meantime you can prepare the plum sauce by combining the sugar and water in a small pan and bringing to the boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, reducing the liquid a little. Add the fish sauce, plumbs and spices and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove pan from stove and add the lime juice. Transfer to jug for serving with the duck.
Using a large knife or cleaver, cut the duck into medium size pieces. Then toss the pieces in flour to lightly coat. Deep-fry the duck pieces halves several at a time cooking for about 3 minutes per batch. Cook well until the pieces are well browned and crispy. When cooked remove the duck and drain well on kitchen paper. Slice the pieces and serve with the hot plum sauce.
Combine the salt and five-spice powder an all over the rub duck. Place the duck breasts, skin-down, onto a cold frying pan or cast iron skillet (do not oil or grease the pan). Turn the heat under the pan to high and cook until the duck skin browns and becomes to crisp. Don't turn the duck over or move the pieces until the skin is brown and crisp. Then turn the pieces over and cook the other side. When cooked, remove duck from pan and allow to cool a little before serving.
To make the curry paste, fry the garlic, red curry paste, peppercorns, chillies in the pan with duck fat for 1-2 minutes. Add the stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil.
Add the grapes, lychees, pineapples, tomatoes, sugar and fish sauce. Bring to the boil and add your choice of garnishes such as bell pepper slices, basil,coriander, kaffir lime leaves.
Ladle portions of the curry into serving bowls and put slices of crispy duck on top. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.