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Pekin DucklingPekin Duckling
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Pekin Duckling, Pekinas pīle, Mājas pīle, Pīle (Anatidae)

Pekin Duckling

Code: D-040-19
Author: Aivars Gulbis
Photo taken on May 28, 2019
FREE 1000 x 667 px
72 dpi
249 KB
L 5586 x 3724 px
47.29 x 31.53 cm / 300 dpi
16.0 MB

Peking duck is a dish from Beijing (Peking) that has been prepared since the imperial era. The meat is characterized by its thin, crisp skin, with authentic versions of the dish serving mostly the skin and little meat, sliced in front of the diners by the cook. Ducks bred specially for the dish are slaughtered after 65 days and seasoned before being roasted in a closed or hung oven. The meat is often eaten with spring onion, cucumber and sweet bean sauce with pancakes rolled around the fillings. Sometimes pickled radish is also inside, and other sauces (like hoisin sauce) can be used.

History
Duck has been roasted in China since the Southern and Northern Dynasties. A variation of roast duck was prepared for the Emperor of China in the Yuan dynasty. The dish, originally named "shāo yāzi" (燒鴨子), was mentioned in the Complete Recipes for Dishes and Beverages (飲膳正要) manual in 1330 by Hu Sihui (忽思慧), an inspector of the imperial kitchen. The Peking Roast Duck that came to be associated with the term was fully developed during the later Ming dynasty,[2][5][6] and by then, Peking Duck was one of the main dishes on imperial court menus. The first restaurant specialising in Peking Duck, Bianyifang, was established in the Xianyukou, close to Qianmen of Beijing in 1416.

By the Qianlong Period (1736–1796) of the Qing dynasty, the popularity of Peking Duck spread to the upper classes, inspiring poetry from poets and scholars who enjoyed the dish. For instance, one verse of Dūmén zhúzhīcí, a Beijing local poem was, "Fill your plates with roast duck and suckling pig".

In 1864, the Quanjude (全聚德) restaurant was established in Beijing. Yang Quanren (楊全仁), the founder of Quanjude, developed the hung oven to roast ducks. With its innovations and efficient management, the restaurant became well known in China, introducing the Peking Duck to the rest of the world.

By the mid-20th century, Peking Duck had become a national symbol of China, favored by tourists and diplomats alike. For example, Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State of the United States, met Premier Zhou Enlai in the Great Hall of the People on July 10, 1971, during his first (secret) visit to China. After a round of inconclusive talks in the morning, the delegation was served Peking Duck for lunch, which became Kissinger's favourite. The Americans and Chinese issued a joint statement the following day, inviting President Richard Nixon to visit China in 1972. Following Zhou's death in 1976, Kissinger paid another visit to Beijing to savor Peking Duck. Peking Duck, at the Quanjude in particular, has also been a favorite dish for various political leaders ranging from Cuban Fidel Castro to former German chancellor Helmut Kohl.

Two notable restaurants in Beijing which serve this dish are Quanjude and Bianyifang, both centuries-old establishments which have become household names, each with their own style: Quanjude is known for using the hung oven roasting method, while Bianyifang uses the oldest technique of closed oven roasting.

Preparation
Raising the duck
The ducks used to prepare Peking Duck originated in Nanjing. They were small, had black feathers, and lived in the canals around the city linking major waterways. With the relocation of the Chinese capital to Beijing, supply barge traffic increased in the area. Often these barges would spill grain into the canals, providing food for the ducks. By the Five Dynasties, the new breed of duck had been domesticated by Chinese farmers. Nowadays, Peking Duck is prepared from the white feathered Pekin duck (Anas platyrhynchos domestica). Newborn ducks are raised in a free range environment for the first 45 days of their lives, and force fed 4 times a day for the next 15–20 days, resulting in ducks that weigh 5–7 kg (11–15 lbs). The force feeding of the ducks led to an alternate name for the animal, Peking Stuffed Duck (simplified Chinese: 北京填鸭; traditional Chinese: 北京填鴨; pinyin: běijīng tián yā).

Cooking the duck
Fattened ducks are slaughtered, plucked, eviscerated and rinsed thoroughly with water. Air is pumped under the skin through the neck cavity to separate the skin from the fat. The duck is then soaked in boiling water for a short while before it is hung up to dry. While it is hung, the duck is glazed with a layer of maltose syrup, and the inside is rinsed once more with water. A second layer of glaze/marinade of soy sauce, five-spice powder and more maltose is then applied inside and out, and the duck is left to stand for 24 hours in a cool, dry place (or a refrigerator). It is then roasted in an oven until the skin turns shiny brown.

Besides two traditional methods to prepare Peking Duck, recipes have been compiled by chefs around the world to produce the dish at home.

Closed-oven style
Peking duck is originally roasted in a closed oven (Chinese: 焖炉), and Bianyifang is the restaurant that keeps this tradition. The closed oven is built of brick and fitted with metal griddles (Chinese: 箅子; pinyin: bì zi). The oven is preheated by burning Gaoliang sorghum straw (Chinese: 秫秸; pinyin: shú jiē) at the base. The duck is placed in the oven immediately after the fire burns out, allowing the meat to be slowly cooked through the convection of heat within the oven. Controlling the fuel and the temperature is the main skill. In closed-oven style, duck meat is combined well with the fat under the skin, and therefore is juicy and tender.

Open-oven style
The open oven (Chinese: 挂炉; literally: 'hung oven') was developed in the imperial kitchens during the Qing Dynasty, and adopted by the Quanjude restaurant chain. It is designed to roast up to 20 ducks at the same time with an open fire fueled by hardwood from peach or pear trees. The ducks are hung on hooks above the fire and roasted at a temperature of 270 °C (525 °F) for 30–40 minutes. While the ducks are roasting, the chef may use a pole to dangle each duck closer to the fire for 30-second intervals. In open-oven style, the fat is usually melted during the cooking process, so the skin is crispy, and can be eaten separately as a snack.

Almost every part of a duck can be prepared afterwards. Quanjude Restaurant served their customers the "All Duck Banquet" in which they cooked the bones of ducks with vegetables.
en.wikipedia.org

Pekin Duckling

Code: D-040-19
Author: Aivars Gulbis
Photo taken on May 28, 2019
FREE 1000 x 667 px
72 dpi
249 KB
L 5586 x 3724 px
47.29 x 31.53 cm / 300 dpi
16.0 MB
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