Sake + Spirits
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About a year ago, Dickson's Farm opened up a shop in Chelsea Market and I often go there to get my meat. It's fresh, and sometimes you can see the guys butchering huge chunks of cow. It's nice to buy meat where you can see it being cut up. Also, their prices are pretty decent for New York.

Aside from very good cured meats (such as beef tongue) or terrine, they also carry excellent duck. It is often sold out, and the other day I asked when is the best time to secure duck. The guy told me that they kill the ducks on Friday morning, and ship them to the shop in the afternoon. Since the ducks are still warm on Friday afternoon, they have to be chilled until Saturday morning, and then they cut them up to pieces. So Saturday afternoon is the best time to get ducks.

Freshly slaughtered duck! Not the Chinatown kind, or the ones that are vacuum-packed. Last week, I bought a whole duck. This bird was huge, about eight pounds. When you get a whole duck, what would you do? Obviously, you have to make Peking Duck, right? My first post ever on Umamimart was a Peking Duck in 2007, and I decided to recreate it.

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As you may remember, my oven has a very interesting feature that is perfect for Peking Duck: a rotating roasting pit. Hang bird like so with a wire hanger.

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My method is pretty primitive, and it may be offensive to call this Peking Duck, since I did not blow air through the bird to separate the skin from flesh. It's more like crispy-skinned roasted duck with crispy skin.

Once you hang the bird, mix these ingredients together: 3 cups of water, 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp corn syrup, 1 tbsp rice vinegar. Boil this mixture, and add 5 tsp cornstarch to make a slurry concoction. Pour it over the duck, and make sure it coats the entire surface of the bird.

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This is not the duck's asshole. It is the breast.

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See how shiny it is? Once the whole bird is coated with semen-like liquid, blow air on it for about six hours (I used a fan).

Then the skin gets darker, and very dry. It looks like someone just got a Botox injection, and can't move their face at all.

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Securely attach the bird on to the roasting pit.

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Roast the duck for about one hour at 350˚F. When the skin is golden, it's time to eat.

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Peking Duck is usually just to eat the skin and a little bit of meat, but this is an entire bird with a lot of breast meat. It's too wasteful to just eat the skin, so I basically cut thin slices of duck breast.

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You can make pancakes with flour and hot water, but I was too lazy to do it so I just bought flour tortillas. I cut up cucumbers and scallions, and mixed Hoison sauce with sesame oil for the sauce. It was very nice, more Asian duck tacos than Peking duck, but everyone was happy.