This Peking Duck Pizza is a recipe I developed this past May prior to departing for Alaska. For the past ten or so years Katie and I have been fortunate to have visited the “city” at least once each year. In addition to visiting the typical tourist spots on our three to five day forays in Manhattan we also try to focus each trip on a culinary theme such as the best deli sandwich (2nd Ave Deli), the best chicken wings (International House of Wings) with our most recent visit searching for the best NYC classic pizza slice (future post).
There is one area of Manhattan we seem to gravitate to almost every time we end up in the city, Chinatown. Visiting Chinatown in itself is an amazing experience from the street vendors to the food stalls to the vibe of the area, all condensed into a unique multi-block, mini-Peking. This brings me to the reason for mention Chinatown and Peking in this post; specifically Peking Duck. If you’ve never had the pleasure of tasting Peking Duck you are missing out on one of the culinary wonders of this planet.
Located midway down Mott St. in Chinatown is a somewhat discrete looking restaurant named; Peking Duck however its reputation is far from discrete. The only indication that it’s there is from the white flag hanging above the doorway displaying a small duck along with “Peking Duck” lettering. The front of Peking Duck is masked by white sheets which cover the large exterior windows with the single glass entry door providing the only view as to what’s inside. Inside the decor is simple; the 20 or so tables are covered in white table sheets with a few pictures on the walls. Although they list an extensive menu of delectable dishes as the restaurant’s name implies Peking Duck is the main focus. The duck is served by one of the chefs who cuts it up table side with expertise. Similar to a mini-buffet the duck is served with rice tortillas, julienne scallions and cucumbers and Housin sauce. Several pieces of duck are placed on top of a tortilla followed with the veggies, topped with ample Hoisin sauce the tortilla is rolled up and eaten like a “burrito” deeelicious! The only indication as to the restaurants famous reputation can be found when visiting the restroom. Lining the stairway and along the long hallway leading to the downstairs restroom are dozens and dozens of framed photographs of “who’s who” type folks who over the years indulged in Peking Duck at Peking Duck.
So it was a no brainier for me to combine two of my favorite culinary delights into one dish; Peking Duck and pizza. This recipe is not easy to make nor quick to prepare but as most things in life good rewards come to those with patience. The duck must be made and cooked ahead of preparing the pizza so plan this one 24 to 36 hours out. And you may just want to make the duck itself either way enjoy!
- Peking Duck
- 1 large duck
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white vinegar
- ½ honey
- 1 pizza dough
- 1 cucumber skinned, seeds removed and julienned
- 6 – 8 scallions julienned
- 1 jar of Hoisin sauce (Kikkomans is best) add 2 -3 Tbs of duck drippings
- The duck should be washed and cleaned out of all the “inner” stuff. Boil the water and vinegar in a large pot add honey mix well. Take the duck and carefully use your hands to separate the skin form the meat, the idea is to have all the skin pulled away but I haven’t had great luck at this. Use some string or twine to seal up the neck and lower cavities and leave a long enough length to use to hang the duck from. This next step typically requires some assistance as one person holds the duck over the pot while the other braises the skin using the hot water/vinegar/honey mixture. I use a spoon to pour the hot mixture all over the skin, it should appear to shrink and slightly change color. Next the duck will need to be hung in your refrigerator for 24 hours, you’ll need to get creative (I’ve also used an empty beer can as a “base” to hold the duck upright). Place a dish under the duck to catch any dripping. After 24 or so hours the skin should dry out and turn pink to brown, the duck is now ready to be cooked. Bake the duck upright at 375 F for 45 min, if your oven has a rotisserie great if not the beer can technique is good to keep the duck upright which makes for the best results. Baste the duck several times with the drippings to get a golden skin (save some of the drippings from baking to add to the Hoisin sauce for the pizza). I try to have the duck done the same time as when I’m ready to use it on pizza.
- Make pizza dough, heat pizza stone in oven at 500+F for 20 min then remove and place rolled out dough on, top with Hoisin sauce then layer with duck bake at 370 F until dough is done (10 to 15 min). Remove from stone top with cucumbers and scallions, enjoy.