I didn't like duck until I ate confit de canard for the first time about one and a half years ago. Since then, I thought duck couldn't get any better than that: poached, preserved, and fried in its own fat.
But it can get better, or at least it can be of the same tastiness caliber. I've had duck at Chinese restaurants before—experiences that I only remember for featuring disappointingly tough meat and chewy fat—but none were ever as good as the Peking Duck at Peking Duck House in Chinatown. After the waiter presented my group of five with our whole roasted duck, he took it to a central cutting table where a chef cleanly sliced the meat off the bone. The waiter returned with a large plate of neatly fanned out duck slices, each one with a shiny layer of golden skin, skin that was was paper-thin and as crisp as the crust of perfect baguette. All of my favorite textures were combined in every bite of crackling skin atop a soft layer of underlying fat and sweet, tender meat. Hell, who needs meat; the pieces that were solely composed of fat and skin may have been my favorite.
Although the duck was accompanied by sliced cucumber, scallions, hoisin sauce, rice, and pancake wraps (which I felt were too thick), it tasted perfectly good on its own. You probably need something to cut through the richness, though.
Peking Duck House
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