2 x 1.6kg whole ducks
1 lemon, sliceda
1/4 cup (90g) honey
6 spring onions, finely shredded
1/2 telegraph cucumber, seeds removed, cut into thin batons
1/4 cup (60ml) dark soy sauce
150ml Chinese rice wine (shaohsing)
20 Peking duck pancakes
1. Firstly, wash the ducks well with cold water then pat dry with towel. Set aside.
2. Place the lemon in a pan with the rice wine, honey, soy sauce, and 2 cups (500ml) water over medium heat, stir continuously to dissolve the honey. Bring the flame to medium-high and bring it to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until slightly reduced. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and then baste the ducks with the mixture several times until well coated.
3. Place the ducks on a baking tray and leave uncovered in the fridge overnight to dry out the skin.
4. The next day, preheat the oven to 220°C.
5. Place the ducks on a wire rack set over a large roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with 3cm boiling water (this will prevent the fat from spluttering in the pan). Roast the ducks for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 180°C and roast for a further 1 hour and 10 minutes or until duck is cooked through and skin is very crispy. Remove the ducks from the oven and stand for 10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, heat the pancakes according to the packet instructions.
7. Carve the duck, then serve with the pancakes, spring onions, cucumber and hoisain, and let everyone roll their own.
(Courtesy: Chef Choong Chew Loon, Royal China)