This celebrated dining occasion originated in Beijing, China, during the Ming Dynasty 600 years ago. Its preparation became a forbidden recipe until 1911 when the Ching Dynasty fell and chefs were allowed to prepare it for the masses.
Early Peking Duck techniques were elaborate and included lengthy drying to assure a very crispy skin. It had to be golden and memorable. The duck’s skin was prized so highly that the meat inside the duck was left for the kitchen help to eat. Over time this changed, and the duck’s succulently-moist meat was sliced into 120 pieces and eaten on a special pancake with sliced raw vegetables topped with special sauces. Alternatives were combining the meat with bean sprout and as with most foul, the bones went into a soup.
The current method for preparing Peking Duck calls for blanching the bird, coating the skin with honey and wine then drying it for 6 hours. Here is a recipe we found for Peking Duck in the Huffington Post. Except for the 6-hour drying period, it takes only about an hour and a half to cook this celebratory feast.
Leftovers can be fixed many ways: Mixed with green onions and a savory/sweet dressing on a thin crepe; sauté with garlic, ginger, chilies and onion. The third way is a soup made from duck meat and cabbage.