Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Crispy Skin Duck....special delivery

Crispy Skin Duck

Knowing that I was hosting a final King Crab feast for 10 the day I would be returning from Toronto, my meal planning mode kicked into full gear on my last day of vacation.  Fortuantely I was visiting with TJD who fully understands my obsession with food.  Having been away for a week, I was out of touch with what availability and sizes of AKC were around, so I wanted to be sure to have some other menu items to fill out the dinner in case I could only find a smallish crab. So, off we went to Toronto's Chinatown to gather a few supplies for my dinner party back home in Vancouver....

Hello fresh Ontario duck.....
I have mentioned previously that groceries seemed much more affordable in Toronto compared to Vancouver.....Fresh Duck was another example.  It was readily available and very reasonable ($1.99/lb)

Yes, it is a bit abnormal to bring groceries across several provinces for a dinner party, however being able to have things marinated and ready for cooking was extremely appealing to me on this occasion.  Call me crazy, but I did pack a 6 pound duck and 5 pounds of shortribs in my suitcase.  Well in the end I was overweight, so the duck and shortribs ended up in my carry on baggage.

Security was treated to an interesting X-ray of my bag.  No big deal though,  I just explained what it was and I was on my way.  Darn good thing we had the foresight to lob off Mr Duckies head before packing it up for it's journey to Vancouver.  I think is was the spine that raised the eyebrows of the security staff :-)

TJD has a vacuum sealer, so it was simple to marinate the duck, seal it up securely and have it all ready for cooking once I got home.

The duck was amazing.... very meaty and the marinade permeated through the juicy plump duck meat, flavoring the meat with hints of ginger, star anise and scallions with hits of spice from the peppercorns.  The skin was quickly crisped up in a wok of hot oil just before serving.  This was my first attempt at this duck preparation.  I was really impressed with the results. The steaming process can be done very early in the day and the crisping of the skin takes only a few minutes. Very tasty and amazing crispy skin.  This recipe is definitely a keeper.....hence this post!

Crispy Skin Duck

1 4-6 lb duck (fresh is best!)
8 green onions (scallions), ends trimmed, smashed with the side of a cleaver
8 slices ginger, smashed with the flat side of a cleaver
3 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
1 1/2 tbsp salt 
2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
1 star anise, smashed with the flat side of a cleaver
2 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 Cup cornstarch 
oil, for deep frying

Method :
Rinse the duck, drain and remove any fat from the cavity opening and from around the neck.  Combine the green onions, ginger, rice wine, salt, Sichuan peppercorns and staranise. Rub the marinade all over the inside and outside of the duck. Place, breast side down, in a bowl with the remaining marinade and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours. (overnight is better) 
Place the duck and the marinade, breast side up, on a heatproof plate in a steamer.
Steam over simmering water for 1 3/4 hours, replenishing with boiling water during cooking. Remove the duck, discard the marinade, and let cool. 

Rub the soy sauce over the duck, then dredge in the corn starch, pressing lightly to make it adhere to the skin. Let the duck dry in the fridge for several hours until very dry.

Fill a wok to one quarter full of oil. Heat the oil to 375F. 
Lower the duck into the oil and fry, ladling the oil over the top, until the skin is crisp and golden.
Drain the duck and, using a cleaver, cut the duck through the bones into pieces. 
Serves 4-6 

ladle the hot oil over the duck to crisp the skin evenly

Yummy Crispy skin Duck

Served over lightly fried pea tips with garlic

An alternate serving suggestion:  Debone the duck and serve with thin pancakes (like those for peking duck) with hoisin sauce and sliced scallions.


  1. I was always put off by the amount of time needed to steam it, but I think I will try it now that yours looks so good! Mmm SKIN!

  2. mmm ya, try it.
    The skin is amazing and the meat is really really tasty too!
    Get a nice plump juicy duck if you can.

    BTW, I think the vacuum action really helped to get the marinade into the meat.....thanks again for giving duckie a nice, leakproof coat for it's journey to Vancouver!