Roast Duck

I have never cooked a whole duck crown before, so when we saw them on offer at the supermarket, I found a recipe I liked, plus it said to brine it for 24 hours and as thats my new favourite thing at the moment so I was all over it.

There’s a few reasons to brine food, it helps tenderise the meat, adds flavour and keeps the meat moist while cooking.

I served this with wilted pak choi and steamed jasmine rice, but anything that takes your fancy will work well.

For the brine:

  • 75g loose leaf earl grey tea
  • 60g fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb chopped in half
  • 100g sea salt
  • 10 star anise

For the rub:

  • 2 tbsp sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp hot smoked paprika

For the glaze:

  • 100g clear honey
  • 150ml dark soy sauce
  • juice of one lime


  1. The brine, put two litres of water, the tea leaves, ginger, garlic,salt and star anise into a large pan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Then set a side to cool.
  2. Once the brine has cooled drop the duck into the brine until fully submerged, cling film then refrigerate for 12 hours.
  3. Once ready to cook the duck, remove from the brine, pat dry and set aside to come to room temperature, and pre-heat the oven to 140C.
  4. For the rub heat a small frying pan over a medium heat and add the sichuan peppercorns, sea salt and star anise, toast in the pan for two to three minutes, then grind in a pestle mortar until it forms a paste, then mix in the ginger and smoked paprika.
  5. Use your hands and rub the paste all over the duck (I scored the breasts but its your choice) making sure you give the duck a thorough massage, then place on a wire rack, thats set inside a roasting tin. Place in the oven and roast for two and a half hours, basting every now and again.
  6. While the duck is in the oven, sort the glaze. Pour the honey into a sauce pan over a medium heat until nice and thick, then add the lime juice and soy, and cook for a couple more minutes, then remove from the heat.
  7. Take the duck out of the oven, turn the oven up to 220C. While the duck is out of the oven brush the brush all over with the honey and soy glaze.
  8. Return the duck to the oven for a further 20 minutes basting in the glaze every five minutes, remove from the oven and set to one side and let rest for at least 20 minutes.

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