Your first time eating Peking duck is likely to be one of those life changing culinary revelations. The citrusy sweet and sour flavor combined with the crispy duck skin make it one of those dishes that never fades from memory. Even the mere mention of Peking duck amongst those who’ve eaten it incite cravings that overshadow all other thoughts until the craving is satisfied.
The key to this Peking duck recipe is achieving the crispy skin. It’s the element that causes all sorts of responses to the first bite…crying, wailing, moaning, fainting. Here, I’ve taken a more or less traditional Peking duck recipe and added a slight, but effective boost, using Korean gochujang sauce in the glaze for a hint of heat. The gochujang flavors meld perfectly with the traditional ingredients.
You’ll want to start prepping this duck a day in advance for best results, but, overall, prep time is minimal and you might be surprised how easy this recipe is, especially given the Wow factor it has when done correctly. As always, monitor the cooking in the oven, use a meat thermometer to see when the bird is getting close to serving temperature and touch the skin every half hour or so to ensure it’s getting crispy.
- 1 4 to 6 pound duck (fresh or frozen/thawed)
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp 5 spice powder
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 orange, zested and cut into 6 wedges
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon grated garlic
- FOR THE GLAZE
- 2 cups orange juice
- 1 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Gojujang
- 1 2 inch piece of ginger, thickly sliced
- 2 tsp anise seeds
- 1 tsp black pepper
- salt to taste
- Prepping the Duck:
- The day before cooking, place the duck on a strainer or baking rack over the sink. Boil 2 quarts or water. Slowly pour the boiling water over the duck in order to help tighten the skin. Dry the skin of the duck thoroughly.
- Mix together the kosher salt, 5 spice, allspice, orange zest, ginger and garlic. Rub the duck cavity and skin generously with the mix. Place duck in the refrigerator for 24 hours, uncovered, to allow the skin to continue drying.
- Cooking the Duck:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Insert orange wedges in the duck cavity and place the duck breast side up (wings tucked under) on a baking rack.
- In a sauce pan, prepare the marinade by adding all ingredients and bringing to a simmer. Continue to simmer until reduced to a viscous, slightly syrupy consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Check the duck every 30 minutes for color and skin crispness. Use the rendered duck fat to baste the breast. At about the 60 - 90 minute mark, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh to check temperature.
- As the duck approaches 150° - 155°F, begin thoroughly basting with the marinade and continue to roast. Remove from oven and re-baste approximately every 10-15 minutes in order to achieve that layered, lacquered finish on the skin. Pay close attention that the marinade does not start to burn and turn black during this phase.
- When the duck reaches 165°F at the the thickest part of the thigh, remove from the oven and allow to rest 10-15 minutes. Carve, serve and Cheers, my friends!
Spicy Peking Duck Recipe