BBQ · condiment · dairy free · egg-free · Gluten Free · Poultry · Sauce

Duck with Prunes and 5 Spice Sauce

The kids wanted prunes the other day at the supermarket but a week later they were still uneaten and since I had duck in the freezer, it was a perfect match to use up those prunes to their full potential. I know duck seems a bit intimidating to do but really, if you follow a few rules it’ll be easy and if duck is not your thing, feel free to use chicken instead.

Duck with Prune and 5 Spice Sauce

Pat dry with a paper towel and score the fat of the duck breast in a diamond pattern without touching the meat.  The reason why you score the fat is so that when you place it in the pan, it will stay flat and not curl up, leaving you with surfaces that are not cooking evenly.  Sprinkle the 5 spice over the duck and rub it in.  Leave the duck uncovered in the fridge while preparing the sauce.

For the sauce, in a small sauce pot over medium heat, melt the butter and cook the shallot until they become translucent (about 2 minutes).  Add the garlic and plums along with the 5 spice and cook 2 to 3 minutes.  De-glaze with the wine and reduce by half.  Add the molasses and Worcestershire  and heat through.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Let it cool off while you cook the duck.  You can leave it chunky or use the hand blender to turn it into a smooth sauce if you have little (or big people) with texture issues. 🙂

For the duck, start by salting the fat and placing it, fat side down in a cold skillet.  Turn on the heat on medium heat and let the skin crisp up.  Adjust the heat in order for the skin to crisp up without burning.  It should take 8 to 10 minutes.  You can remove the excess fat in the pan from time to time if there is too much.  (But please keep it, and put it in the fridge for future use.  You can filter it through a cheese cloth before storing it while it is still in liquid form.) Once you have attained a beautiful crispy skin, turn over in order to cook your duck to rare (135°F). Remove from the heat and let the duck rest a good 10 minutes before carving.

Try to carve the duck at an angle in very thin strips and serve with the sauce.  I like to serve this with grilled zucchinis and some rice vermicelli seasoned with a little sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.


Ingredients for 4:

For the duck

  • 2 duck breasts
  • 1/2 tsp of 5 spice
  • 1/2 tsp of salt

For the sauce:

  • 3 plums diced
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 1/2 cup of molasses
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp of Worcestershire
  • 1 tsp of 5 spice
  • salt and pepper to taste

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