This is my first time to roast a duck. Compared with my old way to cook duck, it saves a lot of time and the duck comes out so perfect, with crispy skin and pleasant sweet taste. Around one cup of fat has been removed from the duck, so, you see, it is relatively healthy.
The duck I bought is about six pounds. Rinse it and then rub it with a lot of coarse salt and five-spice powder (don’t worry, it won’t be too salty, because all the excess season will be removed later), including the outside and inside. Wrap it with plastic wrap and chill at least overnight.
Boil around 2 qt water, pour boiled water all over the duck (don’t miss any tiny part) as soon as the water is boiling (the temperature is very important, water needs to be as hot as possible). Mix 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp syrup and 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar and brush it over duck. Place duck on a rack with drip pan and let sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours, turn over the duck in 12 hours to dry both sides.
Before roasting, let duck stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375F, add 1 liter water in drip pan and roast duck uncovered for 1 hour and 30 minutes, turn duck over and brush with syrup every 30 minutes. When duck is cooked through, turn off oven and keep it in the oven for another 30 minutes.
One popular way to enjoy this yummy duck is thinly slice duck breast (keep the skin) and wrap it in steamed pancake (extremely thin, kinda transparent) together with julienne scallions, cucumber. Dip sauce is sweet with garlic flavor. I am too busy to make the pancake, maybe next time, I will do it.
Don’t throw away the skeleton. Use a fine sieve to remove the fat in drip pan and simmer bones in the broth for 1 hour. Remove bones. Adding some veggies in the soup, for example, lobok (daikon), Chinese lettuce and tofu, brings comfort soup in this cold winter.
Enjoy and Happy New Year!