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No Peeking Duck .jpg

OK, here's a peek.

This recipe evolved when I first made NY Times' Sam Sifton's shredded roast duck.  You cook the duck at a low-ish temperature for a long time, 4-5 hours.  Where I divert from his recipe is that I remove the skin, scrape off any excess fat then re-heat it to crisp it up even more.

One of the benefits of this is that you can prepare the duck ahead of time, even the day before.  You just need to add a little water to the duck meat to keep it moist when re-heating.

To make it wheatless, I substitute almond flour tortillas for the mandarin pancakes and/or use lettuce leaves for the wrap. And use gluten-free hoisin sauce.

The fresh mango is my own personal addition. I love the sweetness and the color it adds!

I actually like this recipe better than the real thing as it is less greasy and the skin is much crisper. Of course, it is also great with real Mandarin pancakes if you prefer.  


  • crispy roast duck

  • almond flour tortillas

  • butter lettuce leaves (you can also use iceberg)

  • English cucumber (you can also use a regular one)

  • scallions

  • mango

  • bamboo steamer is advisable if us

The Duck

  • 1 4-6 pound duck

  • Maldon salt

  • freshly ground black pepper


Heat oven to 325. Remove giblets and neck from duck cavity, and discard or reserve for another use. Cut off excess fat from duck cavity. Place duck on a rack in a deep roasting pan, breast-side up, and season with salt and pepper. Then slide the pan into the oven and cook, undisturbed, for 2 hours.

Remove duck from oven, and use the point of a sharp knife to prick the skin of the bird, all over the breasts and thighs. (This is a good time to remove some of the duck fat with a baster to save in the refrigerator.  You can wait longer, you just want to do it before your turn the temp up.) Return bird to oven, and cook for 1 to 2 more hours, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh measures around 155 degrees. After an hour once the skin is pricked, I like to turn the duck over for about an hour to get the back skin crisp.

Increase oven temperature to 450, turn duck over if you have turned it breast down, and cook until the duck is golden and crisp, 15 to 30 minutes.​

Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven, and transfer the duck to a cutting board. Allow the duck to rest for a bit until you can handle it.  Separate legs and wings the scissors or knife. These can be served as is. Remove the skin from remainder of duck and set aside. Remove duck meat and shred it, using two forks or your hands. You can add a bit of hoisin sauce to the meat at this point if you want. I like to do it once it's on the pancake or lettuce. Or you can do both.

With a sharp knife scrape the inside of the skin where there are still fatty deposits.  Slice the skin into strips and place in a roasting pan or on a cookie sheet and cook for around 5-10 minutes at about 350 - 375 or until the skin is crips, not burnt.

The Rest

Prepare the garnishes.  

Although traditionally, the scallions are sliced lengthwise, I like to slice in a fine chiffonade as scallions can sometimes be a little tough and this avoids that.

I like to avoid using the seeds. Peel flesh off with potato peeler. Cut whole cucumber into 4" lengths. Then with a sharp thin knife make a shallow, diagonal cut into flesh lengthwise and continue going around until the non-seeded flesh is in a sheet.  You do not have to do it in one go, AND it does not have to be all that perfect. Then lay flat and cut into thin strips.

Peel mango skin with a potato peeler, then slice flesh into thin strips.

Separate lettuce leaves.

Place a piece of round parchment, smaller than the steamer, at bottom of steamer.  Place almond tortillas on top of parchment and steam for a few minutes over boiling pan of water. 

To Serve

Reheat duck if necessary. 


Serve tortillas in steamer to keep warm. Place other elements on dishes and place on dining table.  One of the fun things about this dish is that everyone makes their own 'wrap'.

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