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Really crispy duck breast with Chinese-style cranberry sauce


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Rate this recipe 4.3/5 (3 Votes)


  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cm/¾in piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp cranberry sauce
  • 1½ tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1 large glass red wine
  • 1 strip orange zest
  • ½ orange, juice only
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 thick duck breasts
  • vegetable oil



Step 1

1. The sauce can be prepared while the duck is cooking, or made well in advance and warmed just before serving. Heat the sesame oil in a small saucepan and cook the onion until softened. Add the ginger and red wine vinegar. Bring to the boil and cook until the vinegar has almost cooked away. Stir in the cranberry sauce, ½ tsp Chinese five spice, the red wine, orange zest, orange juice and sugar. Bring to the boil and cook for 6-8 minutes until thickened slightly. Season with salt and remove the orange zest before serving.
2. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
3. Score the skin of the duck breasts several times with a sharp knife. Sprinkle over the remaining Chinese five spice, salt and pepper, then rub into the skin and score lines.
4. Heat a drop of vegetable oil in an ovenproof frying pan or roasting tray over a low-medium heat. Sit the duck skin-side down in the pan or tray and slowly fry for 10-12 minutes. Be patient at this stage as it will give you a really crispy skin as a result. Drain away all the excess fat. Turn the breasts over so they are skin-side up, and cook in the oven for 6-8 minutes (you may need a couple of minutes longer if the breasts are very thick).
5. Remove from the oven and leave to relax for about 5 minutes. This will ensure the duck breasts are tender while still keeping the skin crispy. The duck is now ready to serve on warm plates with a spoonful of sauce and accompaniment of your choice. Try some stir-fried spinach or pak choi with sesame oil, and noodles or mashed potatoes flavoured with thinly sliced spring onions.

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