I realised the other day that it’s been quite some time since I’ve posted a savoury dish. And I really should do it more often, as they truly are my favourite!
I made this crispy duck dish for dinner one night last week, and it was one of those dishes you just did not want to end. I love duck. It’s probably my favourite game meat. It’s not hard to find either. We got ours at the supermarket, and it’s by Game Farm. I had a look on their website and all their game is all hormone free and they have been working for over 12 months to be a licensee under the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme. So I felt good about my choice in purchasing it. Eventually, I would like to source all of our meat locally, from free range and organic farmers. I’ve found a butchers near us that provides this, so once we get through our meat left in our freezer, we’ll be heading over and buying up in bulk!
Oops, I digress. Back to the duck! I didn’t want to overdo it with spices or sauces, as duck already has such a beautiful rich flavour and I didn’t want to mask that. So I didn’t even marinate it, I simply rubbed the skin with some Chinese five spice, salt and pepper. Some people like to remove the skin from their chicken or duck breasts, which I personally think is crazy. It keeps the breast meat juicy and tender, plus the crispy skin is the most delicious part!
I also cooked the duck in a little bacon dripping that I saved from the last time I cooked up the beautiful organic bacon from the pigs raised on my girlfriend’s farm. I love using natural animal fats like this when cooking as they have a higher smoking point and are more stable when cooking. Plus, Gone are the days when natural fats should be feared. Refined sugar, processed junk, all those funny numbers on the back of a packet of food, all those unnatural preservatives/additives/colourings and words that you can’t even pronounce. Those are the things you should be wary of.
After browning off the duck, I popped them into the oven.
They only take 10 minutes to cook, which is just enough time to throw together a nice stir fry to go with it! I’m not sure what I love more – duck or shiitake mushrooms. Put them together, and well, you’ve got yourself a winner of a combination!
For the stir fry I used a mix of shiitake and oyster mushrooms and a whole bunch of gai-lan. Gai-lan is also called Chinese Broccoli and is a really common ingredient in Asian cooking. The stalks are sweet and filled with fibre, and the leaves are rich in nutrients like iron and calcium. It’s delicious, and it’s good for you. Not much more you can ask for from your food!
Once the duck is cooked, leave it to rest for a further 5 mins out of the oven before serving, much like you would with steak. When you cut it, it should be slightly pink or blushing in the middle.
You can serve this in one of two ways:
1. Slice the duck breasts and serve them in individual bowls on a bed of rice and add some stir on the side.
2. Pop the sliced duck breast on top of the stir fry, place this in the middle of the table, serve out bowls of rice and grab and eat some as you go. This is actually my favourite way to dish out anything. As part of our culture, we always ate around the table as a family with my mum dishing out multiple things into the middle of the table, and everyone digging in to their hearts content. I find it’s so much more fun and enjoyable having a meal this way, rather than set individual portions for everyone.
- 2 duck breasts, skin on
- 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon duck fat or pork fat/dripping*
- 1 bunch gai-lan, cut in half (one half stems, one half leaves)
- 100g shiitake mushrooms, halved
- 100g oyster mushrooms, halved
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Steamed rice
- Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Mix five spice, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Score the duck skin.
- Rub the spice mix into the duck skin and the other side.
- Heat duck or pork fat in a pan until melted and hot.
- Place duck skin side down and cook for 2 minutes.
- Flip over and cook for a further minute.
- Place duck into a baking dish or tray and cook in the oven for 10mins. If you would like your duck breast well done, cook for 12 minutes.
- While the duck is cooking, prepare your stir fry.
- Use the same fry pan you used for your duck, and pour out the residual fat from the duck, leaving about 2 teaspoons.
- Heat the fat and add mushrooms and the stalks of the gai-lan.
- Sauté for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the gai-lan leaves, the sauces and the pepper and stir until the leaves have just wilted.
- Set aside.
- Once the duck has cooked, leave to rest out of the oven for 5mins before slicing.
- Serve the sliced duck and stir fry with steamed rice when ready to eat.
- * If you can't find duck fat or pork dripping, you can use another cooking oil.