Duck It!

Mr. B's Peking Style Duck
I always look forward to February, especially for Chinese New Year. When Mr. B and I lived in San Francisco, we'd walk down the street to the edge of Chinatown and watch the parade and for us, back then when we were so homesick for Mardi Gras and New Orleans, Chinese New Year festivities made us feel a lot better. Or maybe it was the dumplings.

Every year, we read up on the New Year--this year it's the Year of the Snake and since I'm a snake, I'm looking forward to what the year is going to bring. Last year was the Year of the Dragon. Mr. B is a Dragon, so it was only fitting that we celebrated the end of the old year with his Peking Duck recipe.

In Chinese tradition, the New Year is ushered in with feasts. The feasts usually involve pig or duck; money and well wishes are exchanged and the celebration ends with a big firecracker show.

This year, our celebration was ushered in with a feast of Peking Duck. True to Mr. B's fiery Dragon nature, he was determined to turn the oven up to 500º, which I quickly nixed. We settled on 450º. Ducks are greasy birds, even when correctly prepared, and this duck, well, let's just say he was a real fighter and by the time we got to the last 20 minutes of cooking time, we had dismantled every smoke detector in the house, had the doors and windows wide open and the box fans going at full speed. The fire extinguisher was close at hand and we were both afraid that unlike festive firecrackers, we were headed right for a grease fire.

But we made it through and the duck, well, it really was quite delicious. Want the recipe for the best Peking Duck?

Open a good bottle of wine and call your local Chinese restaurant and order one. Then you don't have to worry about a grease fire, which is not a very auspicious way to start a new year.

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