Crispy duck is completely irresistible and has to be my favourite meat.
If cooking a whole duck is not for you why not try making this duck breast with five spice and honey that makes a delicious sauce with crispy skin?
Perfect for fine dining at home, this recipe will be a family favourite.
Why you will love this recipe
Have you ever wondered how how Chinese restaurants get their duck so crispy?
There's lots of different ways that I've tried over the years and they have all been disappointing!
There were lots of techniques for piercing of skin, scalding and hanging for days on end. Hanging up to dry? Not sure that would work with two professional Weimaraners, two pet moggies, one million wild moggies and assorted rodents of the determined variety. Stand by for my easy cheat which I found by accident.
- no fussy techniques
- few ingredients
- ready in around 20 minutes
- perfect for entertaining or a special meal at home
What are the ingredients?
Duck breasts are normally readily available with the skin on so a pack of 2 will easily feed 2 people.
The only other ingredients that you need are 5 spice powder, honey and sweet soy sauce.
If you don't have sweet soy sauce you could use teriyaki sauce or simple use an extra tablespoon of honey instead.
There's no need to add salt as there is plenty in the soy sauce.
How to make crispy duck breasts
Start by using a sharp knife to score through the fat diagonally both ways to give a diamond effect. This isn't to make it just look pretty as the more edges the skin has the more chance it has to crisp up.
Dry the duck off with some kitchen roll and transfer the duck to a frying pan.
With the skin side up, sprinkle both breasts with the five spice powder and use your fingers to really work it into the flesh. This will work to dry out the fat even more.
At this point, if you have time, leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes for it to dry out even further and for the spices to get to work.
When you are ready to cook turn the duck over, skin side down, and switch on a medium to high heat.
Leave it for about 5 minutes until the duck easily detaches from the pan. It's ready to turn when the skin is dark brown and caramelised. Turn the duck over and cook for about a minute on the underside.
Transfer to an oven proof dish if your frying pan is not oven proof.
Mix 3 tablespoons of runny honey with the same of soy sauce and use a pastry brush to cover the duck, skin side up.
Place it in the oven 180C/350F/Gas Mark 5 for 15 minutes to serve medium. Place the duck on a carving tray to rest for about 5 minutes, loosely covered with foil.
Skim off the fat from the roasting pan and mix the juices with the remaining honey and soy and heat through. If you prefer, mix a little cornflour with water add stir in to the hot juices to thicken.
Slice the duck thinly and pour the juices over. It should be pink in the middle, perfectly tender and with a crispy skin. Gorgeous!
5 Spice is a mix of star anise, Chinese cinnamon, cloves, sichuan pepper and fennel seeds. It is used predominantly in Asian style dishes. For me the dominant flavour is the star anise which also features heavily in Hoisin sauce.
This is delicious and so simple, with no added fat. Dinner in minutes and so, so tasty!
More duck recipes to try
If you like duck you will love
Crispy Duck with Five Spice and Honey
- 2 duck breasts
- 3 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
- 3 teaspoon five spice powder
- Score the duck and massage in the five spice powder.
- Place skin side down in a frying pan over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until crispy.
- Combine the honey and soy and brush over the skin before placing in the oven at 180C/350F/ Gas 5 for 15 minutes.
- Let the duck rest for about 5 minutes, covered loosely with foil. and skim off fat from tray. Mix juices with remaining honey and soy.
- Skim the fat from the roasting dish and combine the juices with the remaining honey and soy and heat through.
- Slice duck thinly and pour over the sauce.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article.