Honey Peking Chicken With Steamed Buns

peking-chicken-with-steamed-buns

Ching Shih would probably have wanted Peking Duck rather than chicken, but these are just as good!

Honey Peking Chicken

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts, skin on

1-1/2 teaspoons five spice powder

3 slices of ginger, smashed with side of knife

3 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon Shao Hsing rice wine (or dry sherry)

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 1 tsp table salt)

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

1. Using the tines of the fork, prick holes through the skin and meat of the chicken. This allows for the marinade to seep through. Combine all the rest of the ingredients and marinate the chicken breasts for up to 4 hours.

2. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Drain the breasts, discard marinade, and pat the chicken very dry, especially the skin side. Heat 3 tablespoons of cooking oil in large oven proof fry pan on high heat. When oil is hot, place chicken, skin side down in the pan. Fry until the skin is golden and crisp, about 3 minutes. (tip: don’t move the chicken when you are frying it. just leave it alone and let it fry to crisp up) Turn skin side up and place oven proof fry pan in the oven for 15 minutes, until cooked through.

3. Remove from pan and let rest on cutting board for 10 minutes. Carefully cut the chicken breast into thin 1/2″ slices – try cutting on the diagonal to get nice, long, thin slices.

Steamed Buns

Ingredients

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour for dusting work surface

2 cans Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuit dough (7.5 ounces each)

20 parchment squares (about 4″x4″)

Directions

1. Dust work surface with the flour. Open the can of dough. Separate out the biscuits – there should be 10 in each can. Keep the dough covered loosely with plastic wrap or towel. Roll each biscuit into an oval and fold in half. Place on parchment square. Keep covered until ready to steam.

2. Steam the buns for 12 minutes. You’ll steam the buns in batches, avoid overcrowding the plate while steaming otherwise the buns will stick to each other.

To Serve

1 English or Japanese cucumber, cut into very thin julienned strips, soaked in 1 cup ice cold water, drain before serving
3 green onion stalks, cut into the thinnest possible shavings, soaked in 1 cup of ice cold water. drain before serving
1/2 cup Hoisin Sauce

To Eat

Open bun up (careful not to break it apart!), slather some Hoisin sauce, add 3 slices of chicken, a few cucumber strips, and green onion shavings. Enjoy.

New English Garden Bee Plants – “Essence Purple” and “Silver Mist” English Lavender

"Essence Purple" English Lavender

“Essence Purple” English Lavender

"Silver Mist" English Lavender

“Silver Mist” English Lavender

One of my favorite online plant purveyors, Wayside Gardens, has 61 new perennial cultivars this year, many of them bee favorites.

There are few, if any, flowers bees and other pollinators love better than English Lavender.  Wayside Gardens is offering two new English Lavenders this year, “Essence Purple” and “Silver Mist”.

An English Lavender extraordinaire, ‘Essence Purple’ is the variety for those of us who can never have too much Lavender in garden and home. Bushier, better branched, and perhaps even more fragrant than others, it is simply heavenly in color, form, and scent. Find new places to tuck this magnificent plant in your sunny garden and patio this season!

One of the most beautiful of English Lavenders, ‘Silver Mist’ sets nearly white foliage with a soft, fuzzy aura that looks like clouds in the garden. The flowers are pure sky-blue and continue over an especially long season. Compact, well-branched, and marvelously fragrant in bloom and leaf, it’s a must-have for the sunny garden and fine containers.

Both Lavenders are evergreen in mild areas and deer-resistant.

An herb, Lavender is useful for everything from potpourri to Everlastings to air freshener. Cut branches to tuck into your linen closet, use the flowers to perfume tea and sweets, and admire the pollinators that are drawn to these plants all season long. Every garden needs at least one stand of Lavender!

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 6 – Warm Duck Salad

duck salad

Day 6 and all is well!  It’s over 60 degrees here, and I’m going to get out on my road bike if it doesn’t rain!

If you made roast duck from Day 5, you can use it in this salad. If not, the directions for preparing duck breast is below. Enjoy!

Yield: 1 to 2 servings

Ingredients

1 boneless duck breast, skin on (about 6 to 7 ounces) (or leftover duck from Day 5)

Kosher salt

1/2 tablespoon minced shallots

1 teaspoon honey

1 1/4 tablespoons good sherry vinegar

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 head Belgian endive

1 ounce mache or other delicate baby lettuce

Navel orange, peeled, cut in 1/2, and sliced

1/4 pint fresh raspberries

1/2 cup toasted whole pecan halves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the duck breast on a sheet pan, skin side up. Sprinkle with salt and roast for about 20 minutes, until medium-rare. Remove from the oven, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and discard the fat and skin on top (unless you’re making cracklings), slice the duck, and then cut the slices crosswise into julienned pieces.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the shallots, honey, sherry vinegar, orange zest, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Whisk in the olive oil and set aside.

For the salad, trim the bottom half-inch from the endive and cut them diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Separate the leaves and discard the cores. Place the slices in a large salad bowl. Add the mache leaves, oranges, raspberries, and toasted pecans. Toss with enough dressing to moisten. Gently toss in the warm duck meat and serve immediately.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 5 – Honey-Orange Roasted Duckling

roasted orange duck

Day 5 and things are going great! I’ve lost about two pounds and I haven’t felt hungry or deprived. Honey doesn’t push my “eating button” like refined sugar does!

The handy thing is that I can use today’s cooking in tomorrow’s fare. In this case it will be Warm Duck Salad. I’ll use my leftovers, but tomorrow’s recipe assumes you will be cooking duck especially for the salad.

Yield:  4-6 servings

Ingredients:

1 5-lb. duckling

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp orange juice

2 Tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F.  Truss duckling and place on a rack over a roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Combine honey, orange juice and olive oil. Set aside.

Remove duckling from oven and brush evenly with honey-orange mixture. Pour any that’s left over into the body cavity. Return the duckling to the oven for 15 minutes or until the skin turns a rich golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.  Serve with steamed non-starchy vegetables.

Cranberry Week – Roast Duck With Honey Cranberry Glaze

Did you know that cranberries help prevent stomach ulcers?  Most peptic ulcers are caused by a bacterial infection, Helicobacter pylori. Cranberries havebeen shown to inhibit the adhesion of these bacteria to the stomach lining. With 25 million Americans suffering from peptic ulcers in their lifetime, this is a significant health problem.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 4-pound duck
  • 1 3-inch strip of orange peel
  • 1 medium onion
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper as desired
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preparation

Rinse the cranberries carefully under running water and pick them over to remove any that have spoiled.

Mix one cup of cranberries,1/2 cup of the honey and one-half cup of water in a small saucepan and cook, simmering, until the cranberries are very soft. Strain through a sieve into a small bowl. The honey liquid is the glaze for the duck.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the gizzard, heart and liver from the duck and set aside. Put the orange peel, half the onion and about half a teaspoon of salt and pepper in the cavity.

Paint the duck with a little of the cranberry glaze.Place the duck on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes, paint the surface with a little of the cranberry glaze.

Remove the duck from the oven and prick the skin all over with a fork to release the fat. Return to the oven and continue roasting, painting every 15 minutes with the glaze, for a total of two hours.

While the duck is roasting, make a broth with the innards: Roughly chop the remaining half onion and the duck innards. Place in a small saucepan with the wine, another half teaspoon of salt and pepper and a cup of water. Simmer gently for an hour or more, until the broth is reduced to approximately one-half cup of flavorful liquid. Strain the broth and discard the solids.

Mix the remaining half cup of cranberries with the remaining half cup of water, the remaining honey and the balsamic vinegar. Cook together for 10 minutes until the mixture is syrupy. Set aside.

When the duck has finished roasting, remove it from the oven and set aside. It should be a beautiful dark-red color.

Strain the pan juices into a glass measuring cup and carefully remove the duck fat that floats to the top. (Do not discard: duck fat is wonderful for roasting or frying potatoes.) Add the innard broth to the roasting juices and use this to deglaze the roasting pan, scraping up the roasting bits that have stuck to the pan. Strain the whole through a fine sieve and place in a small saucepan.

Add the cranberry-vinegar syrup to the pan juices and broth. If there is any glaze remaining, add that to the mixture and bring the whole to a simmer just to warm it and mix everything together.

Carve the duck if you wish, or send it whole to the table, together with the warm cranberry sauce.

YIELD

4 – 6 servings