Favorite Recipe: Peking Duck

by Molly Matthews in


Picture from Agricole Hospitality

Picture from Agricole Hospitality

Several of the events in Irish Luck, Chinese Medicine feature ethnic Chinese and Irish dishes. These characters came to America to escape starvation, and scenes in the book show the ritual of sharing meals from home as they take comfort in memories and one another. 

In one scene, aromatic Peking Duck is on display in the windows of Philadelphia’s Chinatown. The dish is associated with imperial menus and although named after Beijing, ‘Peking’ is an older spelling, it originated in the former Chinese capital of Nanjing, which lies in the eastern province of Jiangsu. Peking Duck became  a feature dish in American Chinese restaurants in the early 20th Century but I imagined that some Chinese, especially those with aspirations of nobility, might have started to sell Peking Duck ahead of the trend.

Ingredients

1 whole duck, head on

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup salt

1 teaspoon five-spice powder

1 cup molasses

2 cups oil, hot

Directions

Fill large pot 3/4 full with boiling water. Preheat rotisserie or oven to 375 degrees. Soak the whole duck in the large pot of boiling water. Remove it as soon as the skin changes color.

Sprinkle the inside of the duck with sugar, salt, and five-spice powder. Rub the skin of the duck with molasses. Truss the duck with string and hang in an airing place for 2 hours or put the duck in the refrigerator overnight without any cover. This will dry the skin of the duck so that it will be crispy.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the skin is reddish brown.

Before serving, pour hot oil over the skin to increase the crispiness. Carve the skin and meat from the duck, serve.

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Favorite Dish: Colcannon

by Molly Matthews in


 

Favorite Irish Dish: Colcannon

Image from Simply Recipes

Image from Simply Recipes

Do you remember a particular meal or dish the brings back the feeling of family, community, and love? For me, it’s the smell of onions and celery that my mother would sauté early Thanksgiving morning. After she stuffed the bird, the aroma of roasting turkey floated around the house all day. 

For Johnny, the little boy in Irish Luck, Chinese Medicine, his favorite Thanksgiving dish is colcannon, maybe because he could play with his food, building melted butter puddles in his mashed potatoes.

Ingredients

2 pounds red potatoes, cut into large chunks 

3/4 cup milk 

3/4 teaspoon salt 

6 tablespoons Kerrygold salted butter, plus additional melted butter if desired 

1 cup chopped onion 

6 cups finely shredded green cabbage (or one 10-ounce package) 

1 cup (about 4 ounces) shredded Kerrygold Dubliner® Cheese or Blarney Castle Cheese 

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Cook potatoes in boiling water about 20 minutes or until very tender; drain well and mash with skins on, adding milk and salt. While potatoes are cooking, melt butter in a large skillet. Add onion; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very soft. Add cabbage; cook and stir for 5 minutes more or until very soft. Stir cabbage mixture and cheese into hot potatoes and season with pepper.

Mound onto serving plates and make a well in the center of each. Pour a little melted butter into each well, if desired. 

My novel is a career re-invention and if you want to get inspired to create work you love, subscribe to my Instagram and Twitter and get a “Work You Love” daily quote.