You know what I really miss from the Chinese Takeaway?
Chinese Crispy Roasted Duck.
I used to sit on the floor, balancing a plate on my knees while watching Friends on a Friday night and spooning soft, crispy takeaway Chinese duck into tiny little paper-thin discs, scattering with cucumber and spring onion and a smear of sticky hoisin, rolling it all up and shoving it into my mouth. And yes, I used to argue over who got the last bits in the tray.
The problem with doing a paleo Chinese Roasted Duck is that you're not allowed soy products and so soy - one of the main flavour components of this recipe - is out. I know many paleo people who include gluten free soy sauce (tamari) in their diets but that's a question of personal choice, and it's entirely up to you. If you can't tolerate soy sauce of any kind then try substituting it with coconut aminos instead, which has a similar flavour.
This recipe is one of the regular recipes I've been writing each month for Farmer's Choice, an online butcher that provides meat, fish and game. They've also sent me rabbit to try, pork cheeks, gammon and veal, amongst other things. I've always found all the meat and fish I've received to be top quality. Do go check them out.
And instead of thinking you'll need hours and hours to roast this, you can have this all done within an hour and a half. And for most of that time you're nowhere near the kitchen.
Easy. No excuses.
Easy Chinese Style Roasted Duck
1 whole, quartered duck, fully defrosted if frozen
2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice Powder
1 tsp ground ginger
Small pinch of salt
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp tamari (gluten free soy sauce - alternatively use dark soy sauce or coconut aminos if you don't eat any soy products)
extra pinch of ground ginger
3 spring onions, washed, trimmed and chopped, to serve
First of all, separate the duck quarters and arrange in one layer on a large, shallow baking tray, lined with foil. Make sure you remove any plastic wrapping as you go. You might find some giblets - take them out for now (although they'll make excellent gravy for your Sunday Roast, so pop them back in the fridge). With a fork, gently pierce the duck's skin a few times.
In a bowl, mix together the Chinese Five Spice powder, the 1 tsp ground ginger and the salt. Rub this dry mixture all over the surface of the duck, working it into the skin and the meat. You won't need any oil as the duck will release its own fats as it roasts.
Slide into the oven preheated to gas mark 5/190ºC and leave to cook for about 1 hour. Check it at 45 minutes and then every 15 minutes until it's cooked through and the skin is crisp. If it's not cooked, slide it back into the oven for a few minutes and check again.
Cool slightly, and, using a couple of forks, shred the meat and the skin of the duck away from the bone and into small pieces, cutting any larger bits away with a knife if you need to. Arrange the meat and skin on a serving plate.
For the dressing, mix together 1 tsp sesame oil with a pinch of ground ginger and 1 tbsp of the tamari/dark soy/coconut aminos and pour this all over the hot duck, to glaze. Scatter with finely chopped spring onions and take it to the table.
Disclosure: The duck for this recipe was sent to me by Farmer's Choice, who also contributed towards the cost of the ingredients for me to make this recipe. Do go check out their website.
Are you interested in paleo and AIP compliant curries? Check out my ebook SPICE, available to download in the Kindle store now, which contains over 90 recipes using herbs and spices on the autoimmune protocol.