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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Crispy duck with five spices (Chinese)

This is what we had for Christmas dinner in 2011, and since the holidays are almost upon us, we decided this would be a good time to share the recipe. 
A whole duck, rubbed with Chinese spices, slowly baked in the oven on a grill so all the extra fat could drip away for the meat to get crispy, served alongside a lovely sweet-and sour sauce made with bitter cherry jam and wine.

I'm generally mad about duck meat (one of the healthiest out there) and have had it in various other forms, but I think this was my favorite recipe with it. Bogdan agrees :). It takes a while to make, but it's not that difficult once you put it in the oven. Honestly the waiting is the most difficult part :)
You should really try it as soon as possible. Enjoy :)
Recipe (barely) adapted from Crazy Mother Cooker

Last year: Tapenade, wild mushroom and red onion galette (vegan).
Two years ago: Moldavian Tochitura with polenta

Ingredients (serves 4-6, keeps well for the next day as well):

  • 2,1 kg whole duck
  • 1 orange
  • 10 cm piece of fresh ginger
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons 5-spice mix

For the sauce:

  • 150 ml red wine
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons red balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons bitter cherry jam
  • 50 g butter

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (highest temperature). Prepare the duck by removing the extra fat and the triangle-shaped gland on the back. Pierce the skin with a fork or sharp knife all over to allow the fat to drain during baking. Be careful not to pierce the meat also, just the fat layer under the skin.

Put the salt and the 5-spice mix in a bowl or plate. After you wash the duck dry it very well using kitchen towels. The drier it gets now, the crispier it will get later :). Rub it all over with the salt and spice mix.

Make sure the duck gets coated generosly with the mixture:

Peel the ginger and cut it into chunks. Also cut the orange into large wedges.

Use them to stuff the duck's cavity. Put it in the oven on a grill or a rack, placing a tray filled with water underneath so the fat that drips does not end up back on the duck:

Let the duck roast for 15-20 minutes, then turn the heat down to 180 degrees C. From this point on, let it stay in the oven for 2 hours and a half, turning it on the other side every 30 minutes. Afterwards, take it out:

Let it rest for 20 minutes before serving, preferably in a vertical position (supported by little bowls or whatever you have around) so the extra liquid from the cavity gets drained. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Put all the ingredients except the butter in a small pot over medium heat:

Stir until everything dissolves, then cook it for 10-15 minutes until it reduces a little, starting to have a caramel-like consistency. At this point add the butter:

Stir to melt it in the sauce, then remove from the heat. The duck is now ready to be brought to the table.
We served it with Chinese fried rice (without the bacon in the original recipe) and Chinese wood-ear mushroom salad:

You'll have no trouble cutting the meat, it will most likely almost fall off the bones. Pour sauce generously over it on each plate.

Dig in! :)

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