Sunday, February 06, 2005

do try this at home!

i first had it as a teenager, at the eponymous restaurant on mott street, new york city chinatown, where it was served with a flourish by 2 waiters: one with a saber to shave off the slices of skin, another to serve soup made with the carcass and stir fried duck meat dish.
ever since, i have been trying to replicate the appetizer "duck taco" at home. my kids are absolutely besotted with it. the "authentic" recipe calls for a sweet pasty rub to paint all over the duck (usually a combination of maltose, sugar, hoisin and soy sauce)and a prolonged period of air drying. i found that it more often than not resulted in blackened as opposed to crispy sweet skin.
so back and forth i went to the drawing board. then i saw nigella's recipe last week in the new york times dining edition.

the nigella way to roast duck

it just might be the end of the search.
preheat oven to 325F. salt duck all over, inside and out. set duck on upright roaster and roast for 3 hours.
raise heat to 400F and roast 30 minutes more. skin gets really crispy. (save the rendered fat to pan fry potatoes for a heavenly yet sinful treat.)

steam a package of frozen moo shu shells in a bamboo steamer for about 12 minutes. carve skin and meat in thin slices off the duck and serve with slivers of scallions and julienned cucumbers.

slather hoisin sauce (koon chun or lee kum kee brands) over moo shu shell and arrange duck and cucumbers and scallions. fold up bottom and sides and bite.
it is a fun way to share a meal with family and friends.