On every Thanksgiving and Christmas during my four years in China, a thought has popped into my head: What if a Beijing duck restaurant cooked turkeys instead?
It looks like I will finally get a step close to the answer. Yesterday, I met Da Dong, the GM of Beijing Da Dong Roast Duck Restaurant, and he granted my wish to stick a turkey in one of his fireplaces. This is about him being generous rather than any plans to add this meat to the menu, and talking to him made me realize a few things need to be decided:
- The size of the turkey: Two kilograms of duck take about an hour to roast, so how big to go with the bird?
- The coating: Da Dong ducks have a honey lacquer, but perhaps a Canadian touch – some maple syrup – is in order.
- The intensity of the fire: This is related to the fat content of the bird.
- The stuffing: I’m thinking a traditional bread blend but with a local twist – some crushed instant noodles (I imagine the latter soaking up all that turkey juice).
- The serving: Ideally, both Beijing duck style, i.e. with wraps, spring onion, plum sauce, et al., as well as Western style, with cranberry substituted as a sauce.
Decisions, decisions… If any amateur or professional chefs out have advice in the lead-up to Project Gobble, please leave a comment or drop me a line at email@example.com.
Big props to chef Brian McKenna and assistant Lisa Zhao of Room, slated to open in March, for their help in making this a reality.