Beijing's most famous dish, Peking Duck is traditionally served with Mandarin pancakes and green onions for brushing on the hoisin sauce. If you don't live near a cool, windy place another option is to dry the duck in an unheated room with a fan blowing on it.
- 5 to 6-pound duck
- 8 cups water
- 1 slice ginger
- 1 scallion (cut into halves)
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sherry
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (dissolved in 3 tablespoons water)
- Garnish: scallions
Clean duck. Wipe dry and tie a string around neck.
Hang duck in cool, windy place 4 hours.
Fill a large wok with water. Bring to boil. Add ginger, scallion, honey, vinegar, and sherry. Bring to boil. Pour in dissolved cornstarch. Stir constantly.
Place duck in a large strainer above the larger bowl. Scoop boiling mixture all over duck for about 10 minutes.
Hang duck again in cool, windy place for 6 hours until thoroughly dry.
Place duck breast side up on a greased rack in oven preheated to 350 F. Set a pan filled with 2 inches of water in the bottom of the oven and roast 30 minutes.
Turn duck and roast 30 minutes more. Turn breast side up again. Roast 10 minutes more.
Use a sharp knife to cut off the crispy skin. Serve meat and skin immediately on a pre-warmed dish.
The duck is eaten hot with hoisin sauce rolled in Mandarin crepes. Garnish with scallion flowerets.