The dish, originally named “Shaoyazi,” was mentioned in the Complete Recipes for Dishes and Beverages manual in 1330 by Hu Sihui, an inspector of the imperial kitchen.
The Peking Roast Duck that came to be associated with the term was fully developed during the later Ming Dynasty, and by then, Peking Duck was one of the main dishes on imperial court menus.
The first restaurant specialising in Peking Duck, Bianyifang, was established in the Xianyukou, Qianmen area of Beijing in 1416 [Wikipedia]
You can find step-by-step recipes in my cookbook, La Caja China Cooking, as well.
Peking Duck ala La Cajita China
2 – 5 to 6 pound duck
12 cups water
1/4 C powdered ginger
6 scallion, cut into halves
1/2 C honey
1/4 C rice wine vinegar
1/2 C sherry
6 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 6 tablespoons water
Scallions for garnish
Clean ducks. Wipe dry and place each duck on a “beer-can chicken” stand. Set in a cool room in front of a fan for 4 hours to dry. (See note.)
Bring a large pot with water to boil, and add ginger, scallion, honey, vinegar, and sherry.
Boil 10 minutes, then pour in the dissolved cornstarch, stirring constantly.
Place the second duck in boiling water, count to five and remove. Repeat for 10 minutes.
Place ducks on “beer can” racks again, in front of fan, for 6 hours until thoroughly dry.
Turn every 30 minutes.
Place the rack in the roasting pan with 2 inches of water in bottom, and close up the box, and add another 5lbs of charcoal.
You goal temperature inside the box is 350 degrees.
Roast 20 minutes.
Remove ducks from La Cajita China and allow to rest 10-15 minutes.
Use sharp knife to debone. Serve meat and skin immediately on a pre-warmed dish.
The duck is eaten hot with hoisin sauce rolled in Mandarin Crepes. Garnish with diced scallion.
Each duck serves 4 to 6.