If you are looking for your next impressive dinner party dish then look no further. Restaurant quality, quick and easy and magnificently tasty. The stand out flavours of five spice and ginger really stand out in this Asian take on the traditional French marriage of duck and orange. Sublime.
Four duck breasts will set you back about $40. Not too bad considering that is what you would pay for one serve for a dish of this quality in a restaurant.
Prep time: 25 Minutes Cooking time: 20 Minutes $$ Medium Budget
4 duck breasts
1 tbs of Chinese five spice
1 tsp of sea salt
Zest of 1 orange*, finely julienned
2cm piece of ginger*, finely julienned
Juice of 3 oranges
1 tbs of brown sugar
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of soy
1/4 cup of chicken stock
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 red chilli, halved, deseeded and finely sliced
2 spring onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 cup of coriander leaves
1 bunch of baby bok choy, each one quartered lengthways
Steamed jasmine rice to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C
Place the orange juice, zest, ginger, chilli, red wine vinegar, stock, soy, star anise, cinnamon and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Allow the mixture to simmer on a low heat until reduced and slightly syrupy.
Put the sliced green onion and coriander leaves in a bowl and fill with cold water and a little ice. Set aside and drain before serving.
Pat the duck breasts dry with paper towel and lightly score the skin on the diagonal at 1cm intervals. Be careful not to cut too deeply as you don’t want to cut the flesh. Mix the five spice and salt together and use your fingers to grind the salt. Sprinkle the mixture liberally over the duck breasts and rub into the skin with your hands so they are evenly coated.
Heat a large, ovenproof fry pan until nice and hot (if you don’t have an ovenproof one make sure you have a tray in the oven that is nice and hot). Place the duck breasts skin side down in the pan and fry for four minutes. Don’t worry if they smoke a little, you want the skin to be nice and crispy and for a lot of the fat to render out of the breasts. Turn the breasts and cook skin side down for approximately 1-2 minutes (1 for medium, 2 for slightly over). Transfer the duck breasts to the oven and cook for a further 4 minutes. It is important to have a really hot tray if you are transferring from the pan as you don’t want to lose residual heat. Remove the duck from the oven and set aside to rest for at least 4 minutes.
Steam the bok choy for approximately 3 minutes or until bright green in colour.
Remove the cinnamon stick and star anise from the sauce. Slice the duck breasts along the score lines. Divide steamed jasmine rice between four serving plates (I spoon the rice into a ramekin and then invert onto a plate, makes for really nice presentation). Place the bok choy next to or on top of the rice. Arrange the duck breasts in a fan like fashion and spoon over the sauce. Top with the combined spring onion and coriander leaves and serve.
*If you don’t have a zesting tool use your peeler to slice thin strips of orange and ginger, making sure there is no pith from the orange as it is bitter. I then layer them in piles and slice thinly with a sharp knife.