Stephen King, executive chef at Uisge restaurant and bar in Murthly, shares a delicious autumnal favourite of his.
Although available all year round, one of my favourite meats is now currently in season. Duck is easily one of my favourite proteins and can be prepared in such a variety of ways it is something I will never struggle to find a way to have a lovely meal with.
With it being so versatile, I find myself regularly with a duck dish on the menu, whether it is confit duck terrine, or duck taco on the starter menu or a more refined duck breast main course it always proves to be a popular choice.
Duck is a protein that has a great flavour of its own, but is compatible with such a variety of flavours the combinations are endless.
To me, it’s hard to decide whether I like slow cooked tender duck leg or a pan seared breast better and if it’s a protein that you haven’t tried many variations of, I recommend adding it to your repertoire and experimenting.
Both leg and breast cuts are readily available and are inexpensive, and with high quantities of vitamin B and iron it’s a great addition to a varied diet.
As much as I enjoy a classic pan-seared breast with fondant potato, roast veg and a root veg puree or slow cooked confit duck leg, I find myself regularly going down an Asian route as I find the aromatic spices and sweetness really complement the natural flavour.
A dish that always goes down well in my house is crispy aromatic duck with pancakes and hoisin sauce.
I’m sure it’s a staple for many households on a takeaway night, this is such an easy dish to do as long as you leave yourself plenty of cooking time.
Crispy aromatic duck
Serves 6 as a starter or sharing dish
- 1 whole duck
- 5 tbsp Chinese five spice
- 2 tbsp mixed spice
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika (hot if you like spice)
- 5 star anise
- 5 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed
- 50-75g fresh ginger, peeled and roughly sliced
- Zest of 1 orange
- Remove the fat that hangs over the entrance to the duck, then pat the outside and inside dry with paper towel.
- Season the outside and inside of the duck with salt and pepper. Place the garlic, star anise, orange zest and ginger in the cavity of the duck.
- Mix all the spices in a small bowl then rub them all over the outside of the duck, massage it into the skin a little and be sure to cover all of the outside.
- Preheat the oven to 150C Fan/170C/325F/Gas Mark 3, place a cooling rack inside a roasting tin and sit the duck on top, cook for 1 hour then reduce the heat to 120C Fan/140C/275F/Gas Mark 1 and cook for a further two and a half hours, check the skin is crispy and the meat is tender. If it needs a bit longer don’t worry it may take a wee while but it is worth it.
- Remove from the oven and rest for 15 minutes, serve with pancakes, shredded leek and spring onion and hoisin sauce.