Duck has an extra layer of fat under the skin to keep it buoyant when it’s swimming.  In order to create a crispy skin and melt away as much of the fat as possible, duck benefits from having boiling water poured over it to start melting the fat before it goes into the oven.

Chinese 5 spice is a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns.  It goes perfectly with rich, juicy duck breast.  This dish is quick and easy – especially if you’re wanting to impress.

Chinese 5 Spice Duck

Serves 4

5 spice duck on a bed of stir fried vegetables

5 spice duck on a bed of stir fried vegetables

5 spice marinade

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 1/2 tbsp Chinese 5 spice powder

  1. Lay the duck breasts skin side up on a rack over a roasting tin and prick the skin with a cocktail stick.  Pour a kettle of boiling water over the duck and then discard the water.
  2. Rub the 5 spice marinade over the skin and underside of the duck breast and allow to marinate for about 20 min.


Vegetable Stir Fry

1/2 large head of broccoli – cut into florets

3 med carrots – cut into sticks

2 sticks celery – sliced diagonally

2 sm onions – sliced

2 cloves garlic – sliced

3cm piece of root ginger – shredded

2 tbsp soy sauce

  1. Prepare the vegetables and have them in piles ready to add to the pan.
  2. Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas7, place the duck on a rack over a roasting tray and roast in the oven for about 30 min, basting with the marinate every 10min or so.
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 min.
  4. There should be some sticky pan juices left in the roasting pan – keep these and pour off any fat.
  5. Heat the grill and finish cooking the duck under the grill, skin side up to crisp the skin.  The duck should still be a bit pink in the middle.
  6. Once the duck is nearly ready, heat a large frying pan or wok and stir fry the vegetables quickly for a few minutes.  Add the soy sauce and season to taste.
  7. Divide the vegetables between 4 plates, slice the duck and arrange on top of the vegetables.  Trickle the honeyed pan juices over the duck and sprinkle with sliced spring onions.