Duck Casserole (Chinese Style)

9 Jan

This is a great one pot winter dish the Chinese five spices give it the aroma, the soy its saltiness and the chilli its heat. It is a fairly rich oily dish but it is wonderfully aromatic and perfect served with white rice and steamed greens.
Serves 4 Prep 15min Cook 1 hour

  • 4 duck legs
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3-6cm piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedge slices
  • 1-2 dried red chillis, crumbled
  • 1 tsp Szechwan pepper
  • 2 star anise
  • 75ml sake or rice wine
  • 2 sugar cubes
  • 3 tbsp or 25ml light soy sauce
  • 200-250ml water

Pre-heat the oven to 180c. Prepare the duck legs by washing then drying and cutting off any excess fat. Sprinkle with Chinese 5 spice and rub into the legs..
In a heavy pan that can go on or in the oven (mine is a cast iron casserole pan) heat 1 tbsp of oil until the pan and oil are fiercely hot then add the duck legs and fry until browned all over. Meanwhile prepare the remaining ingredients. When the duck is browned add the onion, garlic, ginger, Szechwan pepper, star anise and chilli and fry for a minute or two until aroma rises. Add the sake and stir to lift any residues in the pan and burn off the alcohol. Add water to almost cover and add the remaining ingredients, give it a good stir. Cover and cook in the oven slowly for 1 hour or until the duck is meltingly soft and falling off the bone.

Recipe Source There are several versions of a similar dish on the internet and I think they may have all come from Madhur Jaffrey who has a Duck Braised in Wine recipe in her excellent Far Eastern Cookery book. This recipe has evolved over time in my kitchen with tweaks until I settled with this version.


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