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Crispy Duck

by . Featured in NIGELLA EXPRESS
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Introduction

I've always thought one of the best ways to eat duck was as the Chinese do, but I had never thought it would be so easy to cook. I say "cook". I do nothing except cut some fat off the duck and sit it on a rack on a roasting tin and put it in the oven for hours on end. Then, I take it out, set to with some forks and put some shop-bought Chinese pancakes on to steam. I chop and slice cucumber and spring onions and open a jar of Hoisin sauce.

Actually, come to think of it, I nearly always ask someone else to open it for me. This just could hardly be easier. What's more, children seem to adore it, which makes it a really lovely family Saturday dinner. It's easy to add another duck if there are even more of you eating.

I've always thought one of the best ways to eat duck was as the Chinese do, but I had never thought it would be so easy to cook. I say "cook". I do nothing except cut some fat off the duck and sit it on a rack on a roasting tin and put it in the oven for hours on end. Then, I take it out, set to with some forks and put some shop-bought Chinese pancakes on to steam. I chop and slice cucumber and spring onions and open a jar of Hoisin sauce.

Actually, come to think of it, I nearly always ask someone else to open it for me. This just could hardly be easier. What's more, children seem to adore it, which makes it a really lovely family Saturday dinner. It's easy to add another duck if there are even more of you eating.

Crispy Duck
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Serves: 4-6

Metric Cups
  • 1 duck
  • ½ cucumber
  • 6 spring onions
  • 1 x 270 millilitres jar hoisin sauce
  • 4 - 6 shop-bought chinese pancakes
  • 1 duck
  • ½ cucumber
  • 6 scallions
  • 10 ounces jar hoisin sauce
  • 4 - 6 shop-bought chinese pancakes

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325ºF.
  2. Cut off the flap of fat that hangs over the duck's cavity. Sit the trimmed duck on a rack or slotted tray over a deep roasting tin and roast for 4 hours.
  3. Increase the oven temperature to 220°C/gas mark 7/450ºF and give a final 30 minutes of intense heat. Or, if it's easier, just leave the duck in the low oven for 5 ½ hours. The choice is yours.
  4. Sit pancakes on the top part of a steamer to cook or simply follow the instructions on the packet.
  5. Pour the Hoisin sauce into a bowl.
  6. Cut the cucumber into matchsticks (like you get in a Chinese restaurant).
  7. Cut the spring onions lengthways into short strips (again, as in Chinese restaurants).
  8. Carefully take the duck, in its tin, out of the oven. Transfer the duck to a board, shred it, using two forks to pull the meat apart, and set it on the table with the sauce, pancakes, cucumber and spring onion shreds, so everyone can make their own pancake parcels.
  9. (When the duck fat has cooled a little, pour it into a bowl or jar, and save. It's great for frying potatoes.)
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325ºF.
  2. Cut off the flap of fat that hangs over the duck's cavity. Sit the trimmed duck on a rack or slotted tray over a deep roasting tin and roast for 4 hours.
  3. Increase the oven temperature to 220°C/gas mark 7/450ºF and give a final 30 minutes of intense heat. Or, if it's easier, just leave the duck in the low oven for 5 ½ hours. The choice is yours.
  4. Sit pancakes on the top part of a steamer to cook or simply follow the instructions on the packet.
  5. Pour the Hoisin sauce into a bowl.
  6. Cut the cucumber into matchsticks (like you get in a Chinese restaurant).
  7. Cut the scallions lengthways into short strips (again, as in Chinese restaurants).
  8. Carefully take the duck, in its tin, out of the oven. Transfer the duck to a board, shred it, using two forks to pull the meat apart, and set it on the table with the sauce, pancakes, cucumber and scallion shreds, so everyone can make their own pancake parcels.
  9. (When the duck fat has cooled a little, pour it into a bowl or jar, and save. It's great for frying potatoes.)

Tell us what you think

What 4 Others have said

  • I couldn't find pancakes in the shop. I used sheets of ready rolled filo pastry cut into circles and steamed for a couple of minutes. Very close to the real thing.

    Posted by Thelovelyh on 7th November 2015
  • So easy to do and great results. Got the pancakes and steamer from a Chinese supermarket. The pancakes came in a pack of 102 ( 6x 17 ?) and 4 of us managed 24 in our first sitting. It was a big duck and still had some left over. Many Thanks

    Posted by greghert on 27th October 2013
  • I tried this over the weekend and it was a hit, left it to cook while we went to our daughter's soccer game and it was ready for when we returned. The girls loved it! Think this will be a regular in our house. I also made the pancakes as I could not find them in the store, they came out really good too.

    Posted by texasbrit on 21st February 2013
  • This is lovely with crispy lamb as well!!!

    Posted by Lindyminx on 17th February 2013
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