Last Updated on November 28, 2020 by Fiona Maclean
Gressingham Duck Recipe.
Duck is hugely underrated meat, and I really can’t think why. If you like beef, and you like chicken as well then, while duck is not exactly a mix of the two, trust me, you’ll like it.
The meat from duck is also very low in fat, so if you are watching the calories then removing the skin will actually give you meat with lower fat content than chicken! I didn’t know that…and it gives me the perfect excuse to enjoy one of my favourite meats.
Gressingham Duck was first bred in the UK from a cross of wild mallards and Pekin ducks. Obviously, that makes them perfect to roast Chinese style…read on to find out how.
They were named after the village of Gressingham near Lancaster, where this variety of duck was first bred in 1980. But, the exclusive right to breed Gressingham Ducks was bought by Gressingham Foods in 1996 and the duck you now see in shops labelled as ‘Gressingham’ is generally produced from one of the Gressingham Foods farms in East Anglia. While not technically free-range or organic the ducks are housed in big open barns and the family prides itself on good animal husbandry. The farms produce about 130,000 ducks a week for restaurants, hotels and supermarkets. With the Gressingham duck breed, you’ll find more breast meat, less fat and a gamey flavour which lends itself well to fine cuisine.
The family-run and owned Gressingham Duck people sent us a hamper with a range of their products for us to try. The brief was to produce a special meal, not just a midweek keep you going type of dinner, but perhaps a meal with friends around, or a family Sunday lunch.
Include was one whole duck, a packet of duck legs, a packet of duck breasts, a pair of chopsticks, a meat thermometer for the perfect roast, and an Apron and recipe leaflet.
We’ve had duck many different ways, but as previously mentioned, Gressingham duck lends itself very well to a hybrid version of Chinese Roast Duck. So, I decided to do a Chinese themed Sunday roast using this recipe from BBC Good Food as the starting point . It’s a little different from the usual meat and roast potatoes and veg Sunday lunch, but it’s good to explore new avenues from time to time.
To make this Gressingham Roast Duck, Chinese style, you need a glaze for the skin of the chicken and stuffing for the body cavity. The first half of the cooking period requires the duck to be covered in foil, which helps the stuffing steam the duck from inside, allowing all the aromas to penetrate into the meat. The second half of the cooking time has the foil removed, to allow the skin to brown and crisp up.
Once the duck is stuffed, the cavity is closed up with skewers, and the glaze poured over the whole Gressingham duck.
After 45 minutes the foil is removed, and the duck returned to the oven. After another 45 minutes, I inserted the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and read off the temperature.
With some recipes, duck can be served rare, pink even according to taste. But for this meal, I went with a fairly normal cooking time for medium to well-done meat. Duck is surprisingly flexible with cooking temperatures.
The Gressingham Duck breed, which as mentioned earlier was created by crossing a wild duck and a Pekin duck and is full of flavour I served the duck with Hong Kong noodles and stir-fry vegetables. In theory, they replace the carbohydrate of the potatoes and the root vegetables of the traditional Sunday lunch.
How did my Chinese roast Gressingham duck taste? Absolutely wonderful in my humble opinion. The duck helped a lot though, as it was very tender, and carved beautifully. The flavours of the stuffing and glaze subtly suffused the meat, and the side dishes made for a hearty, yet subtle Sunday lunch with a definite, yet not over the top Chinese theme to it.
Gressingham Duck is a premium brand in my opinion. We have tried other duck with some success here and there, but Gressingham nails it in terms of a consistent, quality product, with great taste! And it’s British and family owned too!
Gressingham Duck is at http://www.gressinghamduck.co.uk/
An Easy Recipe for Gressingham Duck - Chinese Roast Duck Recipe
- 1 Gressingham duck
- 70 g caster sugar
- 5 star anise seeds
- 1 large piece of fresh root ginger (about 3cm x 1cm) sliced
- 1 bunch spring onions roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup the original recipe suggests maltose or malt syrup. My version with golden syrup was delicious!
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
You need to start preparing this dish at least the night before you want to cook.
Wash the duck thoroughly with cold water, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Leave to one side in a cool dry place for an hour or two if possible.
Mix together the sugar, star anise, ginger, spring onions and a few good pinches of salt, then use this to fill the cavities. Close the cavities with skewers and set aside.
Mix golden syrup with a tablespoon of the vinegar in a small bowl.
Add the remaining vinegar to a jug of boiling water and pour over the ducks. The original recipe suggests that boiling water opens up the pores of the duck skin, while the vinegar helps to strip some of the waxiness from the skin. Certainly, the end result bears out the suggestion that this will make it more receptive to the syrup, adding sweetness and a deep golden brown 'varnish' to the final dish.
Baste the duck well with the syrup and vinegar mixture, then place in a large plastic container and put in the fridge or a cool larder overnight, ideally uncovered.
To cook, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7. Put a little water in the bottom of a large roasting tin, place the duck on a rack over the top and cover with foil. Roast for about 45 mins.
Take off the foil and roast for another 45 mins so that the duck is well cooked. Take the duck out of the oven, cover it with a foil tent and let it rest for at least 20 mins before serving
Thinking of trying this recipe at home? Why not pin it for later…
Looking for a side dish? Do try my Egg Fried Rice recipe