Aromatic Crispy Duck

Crispt duck

Originally uploaded by wjharrison77.

It’s Sunday evening and around this time I usually start to think about the school week ahead. Tonight is no exception. First thing tomorrow I’ll be teaching my seniors. Really looking forward to it as we are reading a favourite of mine, MacBeth.

Thankfully the class are enjoying it so far. I was worried they wouldn’t as their previous experience of Shakespeare was not terribly positive. Despite their former teacher’s best efforts the class absolutely despised Romeo and Juliet. Not even Luhrmann’s dazzling adaption managed to win them over – weirdos.

The Scottish play is a winner though. The graphic battle descriptions (Till he unseam’d him from the nave to the chaps/ And fix’d his head upon our battlements) and hirsute witches (you should be women,/ And yet your beards forbid me to interpret/ That you are so) seem to have caught their imaginations. And when, with a little rearrangement of the original text, they figured out that “Aroint thee thy rump fed runion” basically meant “bugger off big bum” it swiftly became the insult of choice in the fifth year common area.

Tomorrow they are going to meet Lady MacBeth for the first time. Expecting her to raise a few eyebrows!

This evening we are having an Asian feast! My mum loves aromatic crispy duck and requests it whenever she visits. Have also made vegetable spring rolls, Thai basil rice, steamed greens and a pineapple granita to finish with. A mish mash of our favourites rather than an elegant array of dishes. 🙂

Aromatic Crispy Duck

A big duck (excess fat from around cavities cut away)
1 tblspn salt
1 ½ tblspn Chinese five spice
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp ground ginger
Thumb of fresh ginger (cut into chunks and smashed with a mallet)
3 spring onions (chopped into large pieces)

To serve:
Cucumber (finely sliced)
Spring onion (finely sliced)
Plum sauce (don’t bother making your own unless plums are in season, which they obviously aren’t just now)
Chinese pancakes (from Chinese supermarket – I have to go to Aberdeen for them. And I do!)

  • Blot the duck with kitchen roll until dry.
  • Combine salt, spice, pepper and ground ginger. Rub ALL over the duck and on the inside.
  • Stuff duck with fresh ginger and spring onions.
  • Roast in a deep roasting tin at 170oC for 2.5 hours. The duck will render a huge amount of fat. Pour this off every 30 mins or so.
  • Turn up heat to 225oC and roast for another 20-30 mins (until very crispy).
  • Leave duck to cool before using two forks to shred the meat and skin off the carcass.
  • Serve the steamed pancakes, spring onion, cucumber, plum sauce and duck in separate dishes so that the diners can assemble their own wee duck rolls.

PS  Disturbingly, as I was taking the above photo a large drake was sitting atop my neighbour’s house and quacking loudly. At me?


30 thoughts on “Aromatic Crispy Duck

  1. Lovely photo. Can’t believe your students didn’t love Baz Luhrmann’s version…good luck with MacBeth – perhaps the Scottish setting will get them fired up.

    As for that drake popping in!

  2. Kalyn – Duck has become very reasonably priced here in the last few years. A whole bird for the same price as a free range chicken. Not bad.

    Lucy – I know. They’re nuts. 🙂

    Truffle – I was nervous about trying it out at first too. Duck just sounds so extravagant. The recipe is pretty much foolproof though.

  3. Thank you for the duck suggestion and yours looks divine! I have been thinking about duck for awhile, but it just keeps being put on the back burner, so to say! I think I will move it to the front now that yours looks so lovely! Your whole dinner sounded tremendous to me!

  4. Wish I’d seen this recipe last night… I roasted some duck legs, and they were lovely with just salt and pepper, but this would have been more interesting! Luckily, I have bought some more! 🙂 Will try this!

  5. Pingback: Stolen Plum Sauce « A Wee Bit of Cooking


  7. yummy! we are trying this right at the very moment! we got our pancakes from our local chinese resturant. they gave us 100! i cant wait for this for my tea! yum yum.

  8. Tried this a couple of months ago and was just as good as I’ve had from any chinese.

    Making it again tomorrow, my mouth is watering all ready!!!

  9. Wonderful blog; your recipes are inventive without seeming overwhelming. You’ve given me courage (at last) to roast a duck! My partner and I (from US) lived in Scotland last year for six months, having spent several holidays traveling widely but especially through the Highlands and Islands. We love the West, but my side of the family was from the Black Isle. So we’ve a special fondness for Inverness and environs — and for Red Kite ale — and your wonderful photos and stories bring back happy memories. And hands down, Marco *is* the most beautiful pup on the Web. Thanks so much / Moran taing!

  10. Looks good…my husband LOVES crispy duck but it is so expensive to buy from the takeaway……pity I didn’t stumble upon this recipe before Valentine’s day or else he would have gotten a nice surprise! In Trinidad we usually curry duck, so it will be nice to try cooking duck a differnt way for a change.

  11. Superb recipe with exceptional results. Surprisingly easy to prepare and cook, the only thing I did a little differently was to place the duck on a wire so that it was lifted above the melting fat (my oven is rubbish and takes eons to warm up, opening the door every 30 mins to drain the fat just isn’t viable). Note though, if you do it this way then make sure you drain off everything before starting the last hot phase, else it’ll get very messy.

    I’m really impressed with the results, much tastier and less greasy than any take-away version I’ve ever tried. Truly delicious.

    Thanks for sharing.

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