Duck with Chinese 5-Spice. Ooer.

Hullo.

Yesterday when discussing what we should have for supper with the boyfriend I was still ostensibly on The Diet Of Hell.  When he asked what I could eat, I believe I replied, ‘meaty cheese, or cheesy eggy meat’.  As he doesn’t like egg, he suggested duck.  So duck we had.  I really like duck.  I forget I like it, every time I have it.

The below is a very simple version of one of Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals.  That is, you can actually walk in, prep, cook and eat my version (main course only) within a 30 min window.  All the better if your boyfriend is home to model for you the excellent blue trousers you bought him, whilst you slave over a hot stove and congratulate yourself on your fashion sense.

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For two people I used two duck breasts (Gressingham, mostly cause I ended up shopping at Waitrose).  Here I should probably recommend you buy your duck from a butcher, or Waitrose at the very least.  So, please do.  A red chilli, sliced.  This one had Absolutely No Heat Or Flavour, so make sure you use a different one.  You also want some chinese 5-spice powder, olive oil and seasoning.  And a lemon.

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We ate ours with some bok choi.  Actually I think this was pak choi.  I am afraid I really am not sure what the difference is.  This probably makes me a ridiculously igorant person.  I apologise.  Anyway chop it, wash it, have it in a big pan ready to cook off about 5 mins before your duck is ready.

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Score the duck breast, skin side.  I had sharpened the knife immediately before doing this and as you can see got a bit overly Jack the Ripper with it.  You could probably be a little more gentle.  Rub on some olive oil then the chinese 5-spice and salt, both sides.

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In a hot, dry pan stick the duck in skin-side down.  Get a big lid or dinner plate and use it to weigh down the duck a bit as it cooks.  Basically you leave it for a few mins on each side, turning regularly, under the plate.  Helps get it crispy.  See above the underside, about half-way through.  Noice.

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While the duck is cooking, The Oliver wants you to do something he calls seasoning the board.  My wooden boards are trapped beneath a tonne of books and various unfiled papers, so last night I seasoned a plastic chopping slice.  Looks Christmassy, eh?  Anyway finely chop the chilli, add a good slug of olive oil, seasoning and lemon juice.  Use the knife to work it all together.  Leave it to season your board.  Or your plastic.

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Here is the duck, skin-side up, about 12 mins in.  I reckon I cooked mine for about 13 mins or so.  It got to pinkish, was v tender.  Cook yours to your own preference.  I can’t be expected to know what all of you like.

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Take the duck off the heat and stick on the dressing, swirling them around a bit.  Let the duck juices run a bit as you cook the pak choi.

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Slice up, making sure you coat all the slices with the juice mix.  Mmmmm.  Juicy.

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Serve.  This was ace, actually.  Bit unexpectedly ace.  You felt replete, it’s in the healthy region if not entirely fat-free (it’s carb free, tho, yay for that) but I must warn you that about an hour after eating it it was like we’d not ingested anything at all.  Just some tasty air.

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Here is the foster dog, earlier this afternoon, in her new bed, about 30 seconds before I started to get an unaccustomed tear in my eye.  I dashed out soon after, swearing all the way home.  I feel better now.

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Grey dog does not feel better.  Grey dog has her ear out for the front door, and the yellow dog, who is not coming home.

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