If you have a handy half hour to spare, you might want to consider boning a duck. Perhaps you have already done all your housework and are bored. You might be on holiday, and have grown tired of lazing by your pool. Or you could be a young housewife who wants to impress her husband by serving him a dinner of authentic Pa-pao-ya, Eight-Jewel Duck. If so, you may be thinking that after he sees your culinary expertise, he’ll reward you with those eight jewels. You’d be wrong. He’s going to take one look at the deflated waterfowl and demand pizza.
Whatever you do, don’t use your regular household scissors to attempt to de-bone a duck. Sewing scissors are also not recommended. You’ll also need a sharp knife, a sturdy cutting board, and a first-aid kit handy for when you slice through one or many of your fingers. In this case, it is best to prepare the area with ample paper towels and a telephone for dialing 911.
The best thing about this instructional diagram is the level of detail in the illustrations. Hold the book at arm’s length and see if you can detect the thin red lines which indicate the flesh of the duck, as opposed to the thin black lines which represent the loose skin. Try not to adjust reading glasses with grease-slick hands.
The Cooking of China, Time-Life Books, 1968