Crispy Duck

Crispy Duck
Crispy Duck

Crispy Duck 

  • 1 whole fresh duck (or some duck legs or breasts if you don’t want to deal with a whole duck)
  • 1 Tablespoon of sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons of Chinese Five Spice
  • a pair of good kitchen shears
  • roasting pan that can fit a rack in the bottom
  • oven safe cookie rack that fits in the roasting pan

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Remove the giblets from the duck, and using your kitchen shears cut out the duck’s backbone, and then cut the breast down the center so you have two half pieces of the duck. I also trimmed the first two sections of wing off, as I didn’t want them to burn during the cooking process. (Save the giblets, backbone, and wing sections to make stock later, or discard if you don’t want to use them.) Trim any extra fat away from the duck, and remove any remaining quills. Using a sharp knife, score the skin of the duck, but do not cut so deep that you cut the meat.

In a large shallow bowl, mix the sea salt and Chinese Five Spice so that it is mixed thoroughly. Placing each half of the duck in the bowl one at a time and use your hands to coat both sides of the duck half with the mixture.

Place the seasoned duck halves on the rack in the roasting pan. The rack allows the duck fat to drip to the bottom, otherwise you’ll be spooning fact out as the duck cooks. (You’re also going to want to save this fat to use later, it’s a great cooking fat, especially for those of us with no safe butter, margarine, or shortening.) 

Seasoned duck halves before cooking
Seasoned duck halves before cooking

Place the duck in the pre-heated oven and roast for about two hours, turning the duck halves every half hour. Once the duck reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, turn the oven up to 425°F for 15 minutes to really crisp up the skin.

Cooked duck halves
Cooked duck halves

Remove the pan from the oven and let the duck cool enough that you can remove the meat from the bones without burning your fingers to bits. Then remove the meat from the bones. (Save the bones to make stock later, or discard if you don’t want to use them.) 

Duck meat removed from the bones
Duck meat removed from the bones

You can eat this with Chinese pancakes, sliced cucumbers, scallions, and Hoisin sauce, like you would eat Peking Duck. Since I didn’t want to try to deal with coming up with a recipe for gluten-free Chinese pancakes, I used rice paper and ate the duck with lettuce, rice vermicelli noodles, sliced cucumber, sliced onion (I forgot to buy scallions), Carrot and Daikon pickle, homemade plum sauce, homemade Hoisin Sauce, and homemade Sriracha.

Enjoy!

Crispy Duck in rice paper with rice vermicelli and veggies
Crispy Duck in rice paper with rice vermicelli and veggies

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