Crispy duck

Rustle up this takeaway favourite in the comfort of your home.

  • Preparation Time50 mins
  • Cooking Time9 mins
  • Serves2
  • DifficultyMedium

For the marinade

6 star anise
4 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 tbsp Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry
2 tbsp ground Sichuan peppercorns
2 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce

For the crispy duck

2 skin-on duck breasts, skin scored in a criss-cross pattern
1 tbsp groundnut oil
Salad greens, to serve

For the apricot and plum sauce

100 ml water
2 ripe plums, stoned and quartered
60g dried apricots, chopped
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
Juice of 1 lime
Notes: Crispy duck is very popular in the Sichuan province and it can be found in many restaurants. However, it is also equally popular to cook at home because, unlike Peking duck, it is easier to make in the home kitchen. My modern variation uses duck breast with the skin on. The duck is first seasoned and then pan-fried until the skin is crispy; the cooking is then finished off in the oven. I like serving this with a sweet and sour apricot and plum sauce.

1) To make the marinade: place the star anise, grated ginger, rice wine, peppercorns, salt, dark soy sauce and light soy sauce into a bowl and stir to combine.

2) Add the duck breasts to the marinade, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.

3) Preheat an oven to 200°C.

4) Heat a wok or pan over a high heat, and add the groundnut oil. Remove the duck from the marinade and place the duck into the hot wok or pan, skin-side down, and fry until the skin is brown and crisp, about four to five minutes. Transfer the duck to a sheet pan, skin-side up, and roast in the oven for three to four minutes, depending on how well done you would like your duck to be. While the duck is in the oven, prepare the apricot and plum sauce.

5) To make the sauce: pour the water into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Add the plums, apricots, sugar, honey, cinnamon, star anise and cook until the mixture has reduced to a sticky sauce. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the lime juice.

6) To serve, place a duck breast onto a plate, pour over the sauce and serve with a salad.

Cook's Note: This dish is delicious accompanied by stir-fried green beans and roasted sweet potatoes. You could also try serving this with my roasted sweet potatoes with smoked paprika.

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