Lacquered Duck in Mandarin Pancakes

"From "Chinese New Year", Good Food Magazine February 1988"
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
2hrs 45mins




  • To make pancakes: place flour in mixing bowl. Gradually stir in boiling water to form rough dough. Let cool 10 minutes. Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Cover with dampened towel and let stand 30 minutes.
  • Cut dough in half and shape each half into 1-1/2-inch-thick log. Cut each log into 12 equal pieces. Cover with dampened towel.
  • Place 1 piece dough, cut side down, on lightly floured surface. Using your fingers, press into 2-inch circle. Repeat with another piece of dough. Lightly brush top of 1 circle with oil. Place other circle on top and lightly pinch edges together. Repeat with remaining dough. Working from center of each double pancake to edge, roll out into 6-inch circle.
  • Heat well-seasoned or very lightly oil nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot. Place 1 pancake in skillet and cook, shaking skillet, until puffed in center, about 1 minute. Flip pancake, then cook and shake about 30 seconds longer. Pancake should be dry on surface but still supple. Let cool several seconds and peel apart. Fold each pancake, cooked side in, into quarters and place in steaming rack lined with cheesecloth or parchment paper. Cover rack with dampened towel. Repeat with remaining pancakes.
  • Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Remove excess fat from duck. Rinse inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Rub garlic and ginger over outside and inside of duck, then place in cavity. Rub 2 T. soy sauce over outside of duck to color it. Place duck, breast up, on rack in roasting pan and pour 1 cup water into pan. Prick duck all over with fork. Roast 1 hour, pricking occasionally with fork and turning over once.
  • Mix remaining 2 T. soy sauce, the rice wine, orange juice, cranberry juice, 1/2 cup water, and the honey.
  • Remove duck from oven and carefully pour off fat and water. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Pour juice mixture over duck (which should be back side up). Roast 45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes and turningover once. Let stand 10 minutes before carving.
  • Meanwhile steam pancakes on rack over boiling water 10 minutes.
  • Thinly slice duck breast and leg meat. Remove all meat and tear into shreds.
  • To serve, smear scant teaspoon hoisin sauce over center of pancake, sprinkle with scallions, and add 2 slices duck. Roll up pancake.

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I didn't start cooking until my early 20's, even though I come from a family of accomplished and admired home cooks. While I grew up watching my Italian grandmother in the kitchen, I remained uninterested in trying anything on my own. As a young lady, I was known for being particularly ignorant in the kitchen, with no idea how to even make a hot dog! All this changed, however, when I got engaged. I realized it was time to let my inherent talents out of the bag. At the time, the New York Times had a weekly column called The 60-Minute Gourmet by Pierre Franey. Each week, I would follow these recipes diligently, and taught myself to cook that way. From there, I began to read cookbooks and consult with relatives on family recipes. At my ripe old age now, I feel I know enough to put together a very pleasing meal and have become accomplished in my own right. Having an Irish father and an Italian mother, I'm glad I inherited the cooking gene (and the drinking one too!). One thing I have learned is that simpler is always better! I always believe cooking fills a need to nurture and show love. After being widowed fairly young and living alone with my dog and cats, I stopped cooking for awhile, since I really had no one to cook for. I made care packages for my grown son occasionally, and like to cook weekly for my boyfriend, so I feel like I am truly back in the saddle!!
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