Imagine the best Peking Duck you’ve ever had. That crispy, amber-toned skin. That juicy, melt-in-your-mouth breast meat. Those deeply nuanced, deeply aromatic flavors, expertly engineered to send your pleasure sensors a-spinnin’. Now imagine you made that duck—and at home. Sound like a stretch? We get it. Topping last-meal lists the world over, this legendary Chinese dish—famously favored by such boldface dignitaries as Henry Kissinger, Yasser Arafat, and Fidel Castro—is complex and showy. So complex and showy, in fact, that we often assume it’s outside the purview of home cooks. But while Peking Duck is mind-alteringly delicious enough to build lasting bridges between one-time geopolitical adversaries, it’s also just something people cook for dinner. And trust us, we’re not just blowing air between your skin and your back meat when we say it’s something you can make for dinner. We’re going to show you how. But before we do, let’s get our proverbial ducks in a row: it ain’t gonna be easy, and it ain’t gonna be quick. Your kids may ask why you cleared all their Go-Gurts and juice boxes out of the fridge. Your neighbor may inquire about how that air compressor got from her garage shelf to your kitchen counter. And your significant other may well wonder about an Amazon email ensuring a bucket of maltose is on its way. The trick—as with many challenging yet rewarding tasks—is to break the process down into clear steps, patiently moving through each until you arrive at the finish. And oh, what a finish: we’ll show you how to carve your bird in the manner of the best Chinese restaurants, making the most of every morsel. So when you serve that cracklin’ duck alongside paper-thin pancakes or pillowy steamed buns, your guests will have the very special pleasure of feasting on one of the world’s great foods. Get the full recipe at Make restaurant-worthy peking duck at home.

Food & Wine
May 06, 2016

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