Five Spice Duck


Fresh out of the oven, brown and crispy

Nov. 11. 2010

Today is Remembrance Day, a day for us to remember those who fought and are fighting for freedom and peace.   The day has been rainy and cold, and a perfect day to stay home and watch all the special ceremonies on TV.  It is also a good day for me to try something new.  Since I do not have to rush around to beat the clock, I can take my sweet time in preparation and cooking.

I love ducks, even though they are not really good for me.  I make it maybe only once a year, and I always stick to the same recipe.  I saw this recipe a while ago as I was searching for something else, and had saved this recipe to try for later on. Today seems to be a good day for adventure.

The recipe did not call for marinating the duck for any length of time but in a spur of the moment, I decided to let this duck sit for a hour before roasting it.  I hope the extra time will give a stronger taste to the duck meat.

So here is the recipe, I got it from ” A Table for Two” blog.


  • One whole duck
  • One red onion ( optional) quartered
  • 1 crushed garlic
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 star anise
  • on handful of mixed peppercorn
  • 1 tsp of white pepper
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon powder
  • 1 tbsp of szechuan peppercorn
  • 3 tbsp of good sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400c
  2. Clean and dry duck
  3. Stuff cavity of duck with red onion, garlic, cinnamon stick, star anise.  Close cavity with a skewer.
  4. Grind peppercorn, white pepper, cinnamon powder and sea salt into powder, and rub spice all over duck, put duck in roasting pan with wire rack.
  5. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over duck breast before putting in the oven.  Roast for 1 hour and 20 mins until duck is golden brown, turn pan to the other side every 30 minutes.
  6. Take duck out on wire rack, put it aside until cool enough to handle.  If you don’t mind the fat, you can save the drippings from the pan for roasting potatoes later.
  7. when the duck is cool to handle, remove skewer and empty the contents of the cavity, dump the juice from the inside of the cavity in a bowl, strain all the spice, and save liquid to be used as a dipping sauce later. ( add a little light soya sauce, some sesame oil, and hoisin sauce, mix it together.)
  8. To serve duck, cut the crispy skin to thin slices, and then cut the meat.  serve with the hoisin sauce and pickled cucumber.

I found that there are not too much juice left  after I removed all the spices from inside, only maybe a tsp or so of the juice, but I still use it with the seasonings, and the sauce is quite tasty with the duck.

I am really amaze at the amount of oil at the bottom of the pan, and instead of saving it to roast potatoes as suggested in the recipe, I just dump it out.  The duck grease  is too oily and very unhealthy.

about half a can of oil from the roasted duck!

The duck meat is very tasty, with a hint of spices in each bite.  The hoisin in the dipping sauce adds a touch of sweetness.   We really enjoy this dish.

It is something I will only make in leisure, just to give you an idea of the time I spent , I started the preparation at 4pm, and did not eat until 8 pm, and it only took us 20 minutes to finish supper !!   Because it is my day off and I am not pressed for time, I can relax and enjoy the cooking.

I love the smell of the duck roasting, and every time when I open the oven to turn the bird, Jaden will appear right beside me, even the dog appreciate the aroma of cooking and  he was hoping that I would drip something on the floor for him.

So here is what the duck looks like after it is cut, it does not very attractive, but don’t let the look fool you, it is a very delicious dish.


About mamaj

mom with two grown up girls, children pastor, avid knitter, coffee-lover, bear-collector. I love reading, hanging out with my girl friends and yes, I am owned by a golden lab, Jaden.

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