In the old days BC (before children!) when the OH and I could afford the time and money to eat out, we would often eat out at a delicious local Chinese restuarant and we would always have a crispy duck for starters. Duck is not a meat I would ever to choose to eat normally, but but the crispy Chinese way of serving duck is sooooo good and a 1/2 was never enough!!
Therefore, I have never cooked a whoe duck before either. I did once try to cook duck breasts with a plum sauce (again, BC) but I didn’t crisp the skin enough, and the plum sauce made the pan black and a LOT of smoke escaped when I opened my oven!! So when I was offered the chance to devise a menu using and cooking a whole Gressingham duck, I decided to take on the challenge and have a go at home trying to recreate a crispy duck. With my boys away last Saturday ,visiting Monkey World with my Mum and Step Dad, I thought it would be the perfect excuse to cook a duck dinner for two for a Saturday lunchtime, and here is what I made, and how I made it.
- 1 whole Gressingham Duck
- sea salt
- 8 chinese pancakes
- Hoisin sauce
- 2 carrots, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
- ½ a cucumber, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch of sping onions, peeled and sliced thinly
- (and some rommaine salad leaves for me as my pancakes)
- 2 x Birds Eye Steam Fresh egg fried rice pouches
- Prick the skin of the duck all over with a sharp knife.
- Place the duck on a rack in the kitchen sink, and pour over 2 full kettles of boiling water - this is to reduce the fat content of the duck and help it to release the fat while it cooks.
- Pat it dry with kitchen towel and then place it in the fridge to dry for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 200 C, 180 C fan
- Place the duck on a rack over a large oven roasting dish - you must do this becasue the duck lets off a lot of fat as it cooks.
- Rub lots of sea salt into the duck
- Then cook the duck for 90 minutes, but every half an hour I removed the duck and poured the excess fat into a bowl (I will be keeping this fat for my Christmas Day dinner roasties!)
- After 90 minutes, test the duck to ensure it is cooked right through and if it is, remove and leave to cool while you prep your veggies, and pour out the hoisin sauce.
- You can of course make egg fried rice from scratch, but I simply used two Birds Eye steam fresh egg fried rice pouches which you can cook from the freezer to the microwave in a few minutes.
- To prep the duck, I simply removed all of the skin, and then removed as much meat as I could and cut it up in to smaller pieces
- I served it on my platter with all of the other elements to make a meal to share for two
(I served my duck meat in lettuce pancakes in order to make this meal less syns for me as I am currently following a Slimming World eating plan. I have to say this was a really nice way to eat the duck)
While I do not think any local Chinese in my area will be going out of business anytime soon selling crispy duck in favour of my creation, my duck was nice, even if not as shredded as it should have been as I did not know how to do that!!! However, the meat was lovely and tender and not dry at all despite how crispy I managed to get the skin! I was amazed though by how much smoke one duck can create – my whole house was smoked out lol!
This made a lovely change from the meat we normally eat and has given me the confidence to cook a whole duck again. So thank you Gressingham
I was sent some Gresingham duck and some accessories, and I was also compensated for the ingredients I used in creating my Chinese Style Roast Duck platter.