Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year's Meal

I cooked our New Year's dinner today.

I made two Peking ducks with pancakes, a stir fry of brocolli, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and baby corn in black bean sauce, chicken pad thai, and sweet potatoes cooked in coconut milk. We also brewed some thai iced tea.

There are four steps in making Peking duck. After it is washed and cleaned, the cavity of the duck is rubbed with a mixture of spices, sugar, and salt, and then pinned shut. The duck is then hung from a knob on a kitchen cabinet, and boiling water is ladeled over the duck, and allowed to fall into a large bowl. The hot water in the bowl is ladeled over the duck for several minutes, and then the duck is allowed to dry for fifteen minutes. A syrup is made from hot water, malt sugar, red vinegar, and lemon slices, and then this too is ladeled repeatedly over the duck. The duck is allowed to dry for at least three hours, and then placed in a roasting pan into a four hundred degree oven for twenty minutes, then cooked at three seventy-five for twenty-five minutes a pound. It is removed from the oven and carved. The duck meat is eaten on a peking pancake, with a bit of duck skin, a bit of scallion, and hoisin sauce.



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