Duck coated in a range of piquant flavours is served up with a cooling cucumber and asparagus salad in this Paul Ainsworth recipe

For the aromatic duck, place the onion, celery, leek, carrots, chillies, ginger and garlic into a large bowl. Rub the duck all over with a little salt and place on top of the vegetables. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate for 15-30 minutes, or, for best results - leave overnight in the fridge
Preheat the oven to 230˚C/gas mark 8. Heat a large frying pan until hot and add the duck breast, skin-side down. Fry for 4-5 minutes, turning frequently, until browned all over
Remove the duck from the pan and set aside to rest on a cooling rack. Remove some fat from the frying pan, leaving about two tablespoons. Add the vegetables from the bowl, the cinnamon sticks, star anise, orange and coriander stalks and fry for five minutes
Add the port to the vegetables and cook for a further five minutes, or until the volume of the liquid has reduced by half
Stir in the hoisin sauce, soy sauce and honey, then add the chicken stock. Place the duck, skin side up, into the frying pan, cover with greaseproof paper and cook for 20 minutes. Turn the duck over and cook for a further 15 minutes
Remove the duck from the frying pan and place onto a cooling rack set over a roasting tray. Strain the liquid in the frying pan through a sieve into a large saucepan and cook until the liquid has reduced to the consistency of a syrup
Reduce the oven to 200˚C/gas mark 6. Brush the duck all over with the reduced liquid and roast for 10-12 minutes, or until golden-brown
For the salad, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve the whole crown at the table to carve. Best served with traditional Chinese pancakes or steamed rice
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Aromatic duck

Asparagus and cucumber salad


  1. Fine chinoise

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Asparagus and cucumber ably complement gamey taste of duck in Paul Ainsworth's recipe

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