Honey-glazed Five-spice Wild Duck with Chinese Pancakes and Rhubarb Ketchup
Portion/Yield:Serves 4–6 as a starter
The inspiration for this recipe is Chinese New Year. We are in the middle of winter and also the game season, so why not combine the traditional celebrations with a bird that we often associate with a rather more classical cooking technique?
This recipe was the first time I made Chinese pancakes and I loved them. Most impressively, it’s the quickest and most enjoyable recipe I think I have ever done with only three ingredients. Once you have made these pancakes, you will never buy them again. Please trust me on this recipe and follow the steps word for word; it does take a few moments to work it all out, but once mastered, it’s plain sailing.
Ingredients & Method
For the honey-glazed five-spice wild duck
- 1 oven-ready mallard duck (about 800g)
- 2 star anise
- 10 juniper berries
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3 tablespoons clear runny honey
- 25g soft dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the rhubarb ketchup
- 1kg rhubarb (trimmed weight), trimmed and sliced
- 480g onions (prepared weight), finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 25g fresh root ginger (peeled weight), peeled and finely shredded
- 2 fresh red chillies, seeded and finely shredded
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed
- 240ml cider vinegar
- 240g soft dark brown sugar
- 100ml port wine
For the Chinese pancakes
- 150g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 100ml boiling water
- 2 teaspoons groundnut oil
- 1/2 cucumber, julienned
- 4 spring onions, julienned
First prepare the duck. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Dip the duck in the boiling water for 1 minute, then remove and drain on a cooling rack. Discard the water. Transfer the duck to the fridge and leave to cool and dry for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the marinade for the duck. Using a pestle and mortar, finely pound the five spices together. Mix the ground spices with the honey, sugar and soy sauce, adding salt and pepper to taste. Use a pastry brush to brush some of the marinade all over the duck, then place the duck on a tray or plate and leave it, uncovered, in the fridge for 30 minutes to dry. Repeat this process 3 more times, then leave the duck, uncovered, in the fridge overnight. Keep the remaining marinade (in an airtight container in the fridge) for the roasting process the following day.
In the meantime, prepare the rhubarb ketchup – this can be made up to 1 week in advance (see Chef’s Note). Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a steady simmer over a medium heat, stirring regularly to prevent any catching. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the ketchup, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until thickened and glossy in appearance, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat and leave to cool completely. Transfer to a covered bowl or an airtight container and refrigerate until needed.
The next day (day of serving), make the Chinese pancakes. Mix the flour and boiling water together in a bowl to form dough, knead for 2 minutes until smooth, then cover and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to about 3mm thickness, then use a 5cm pastry cutter to cut out 24 rounds. Lightly brush the rounds with the groundnut oil and then sandwich 2 rounds together to make 12 pairs, sticking the oiled sides together. Place on a tray and cover with cling film.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each pair of pancake rounds until paper thin. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until hot. Place one pancake in the hot pan (cook the pancakes one at a time) and cook for 1 minute on each side or until brown spots form on the surface and the pancake puffs up with steam. Remove the cooked pancake from the pan and place on a plate, then continue cooking the remaining pancakes in the same way, stacking the cooked pancakes on top of each other with non-stick baking paper in-between each one. Place the stack of pancakes in a steamer basket ready to be steamed and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3. Remove the duck from the fridge and brush once more with some of the marinade. Place the duck in a roasting tin and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until the skin is crispy and golden brown and the meat is succulent, brushing the duck with the remaining marinade halfway through the roasting process. Remove from the oven, cover the duck with foil and leave it to rest for 10 minutes whilst steaming the pancakes.
Place the steamer basket containing the stacked pancakes over a pan of boiling water, cover and steam for 5 minutes.
To serve, leave the skin on the roasted duck and shred the meat from the bones. Serve the duck with the steamed pancakes, rhubarb ketchup and julienne of cucumber and spring onions.
Any leftover rhubarb ketchup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.