Duck hanging up in kitchen
Devon August 31, 2007 Guy and Claire leave for Nottingham on
Saturday, so tomorrow is Guy's 'last supper'. Naturally I'm cooking the
proverbial fatted, um er, not calf but duck. Of course it has to be duck.
I'm doing this by an ingenious method that Guy and I devised some years
ago, our very own Topsham 'Peking style' duck. First you take a bicycle
pump and tuck it under the duck breast skin, then you pump like a madman
(actually it's a two-madman job because you have to make an airtight
seal). Once you've got the seal right, the damn thing blows up like a
football (no kidding!). This separates the subcutaneous fat from the
meat, a critical and essential step. Afterwards, we plunge the bird in
boiling water and vinegar, then dry thoroughly, hang up on a hook over
the sink and baste with soy sauce and honey for 24 hours (no need to
baste every 30 minutes, once an hour is quite sufficient - I'm negotiating
with Bella to sleep in the kitchen with alarm clock to do this important
task). The duck will finally be cooked and served 'three ways' as we've
had it in London: first, the crispy skin with Mandarin pancakes, hoisin
sauce, spring onion and cucumber; next the succulent meat, stripped
from the bone and stir-fried with snow peas or mangetout and cashew
nuts; finally a duck soup made from the carcass and bones, served with
firm tofu and broccoli. Meanwhile, Kim will make Guy's favourite dessert,
her legendary tarte aux pommes.
style 'Peking duck', blown up with the bicycle pump, of course allows
me to indulge in two of my favourite passions: cooking and cycling.
Only problem now is that my favourite track pump is covered with
duck fat. Well, sometimes such supreme sacrifices do need to be made
for the sake of the perfect duck dinner, especially for Guy's last
What a sister!