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Five-Spice Crispy Duck


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  • 1 duckling - (4 to 5 lbs) cleaned, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder


Servings 6


Step 1

Place a steaming rack in a wok. Pour in water to just below the level of the rack and bring it to a boil. Place the duck breast-side up on a heatproof dish and set the dish on the rack. Cover and steam for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the marinade ingredients and rub the marinade over the skin of the duck. Place the duck breast-side down on a rack in a foil-lined roasting pan. Roast uncovered for 30 minutes. Protecting your hands with several layers of paper towel, turn the duck breast-side up. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and roast until the skin is browned and crisp and the meat near the thigh bone is no longer pink when pierced, about 1 hour.

This recipe yields 6 servings.

Tip: To prepare a whole duck for cooking Chinese style, cut off and discard the excess neck skin and the tail and remove all the loose fat from around the cavity. With the tip of a small, sharp knife, lightly prick the skin around the legs and other fatty areas (You can see the pockets of fat under the skin). Take care not to pierce the meat under the fat layer.

Star anise, brown, eight-pointed, star-shaped seed pods with a strong licorice flavor, are often used in barbecues, stews, and braised dishes. Rather than one whole star anise, an equivalent of broken points will do. Sometimes it is hard to find a plastic bag of whole ones.

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