Crispy perfection: the secret behind roasted duck
Roasted duck can be absolutely delicious, when prepared and cooked properly. If you enjoy crispy roasted duck with pancakes or as part of a roast lunch, this short foodpanda magazine guide provides all the essential information so you can prepare the dish at home.
About crispy, roasted duck
Crispy, roast duck recipes originated under the Imperial Dynasties in China, and the dish is often known as Peking Roast Duck. It was a popular dish on royal menus, eaten on a regular basis. Indeed, the very first Peking Roast Duck restaurant opened near Beijing back in 1416. Duck is a very dark meat, and not at all like chicken or turkey, with a very unique taste. There is a secret to perfect roasted duck, however; as this is a very fatty bird, it’s essential for the fat to be burnt off during cooking so the meat and skin become crisp.
- The Chinese name of the original roast duck dish was shāo yāzi.
- By the mid-1700s, crispy roast duck was immensely popular with the Chinese upper classes, so much so that poems and literature were dedicated to the dish!
- Two of the most famous Peking Roast Duck restaurants in China are Bianyifang and Quanjude, and they’ve retained their popularity and cultural significance for hundreds of years
Making crispy roast duck Peking style
The main secret to crispy roast duck is slow roasting. This is easier to achieve on a grill (BBQ) or smoker. That’s because the thick layer of fat under the bird’s skin needs to be drained off to create the crispy duck meat that’s so popular with people of all ages. You can also try steaming the duck for up to 30 minutes prior to roasting. Alternatively, make lots of shallow cuts into the skin and fat, to enable all the fat to drain off as the bird cooks. If you decide to pierce the skin in this way prior to roasting, you will need to ensure you don’t cut into the meat.
Crispy roasted duck Peking style is served with thin pancakes, slivers of cucumber, spring onions, and sauces. The dish should always be eaten warm, and ideally carved in front of diners.
Top tip for grilling duck on a BBQ
Always use a draining pan when grilling duck on a charcoal or gas BBQ, otherwise the fat will catch fire!