Duck with Chinese 5-Spice. Ooer.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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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