April 30, 2008

Five Spice Duck with Roasted Mango Sauce

1 5 lb duck

for the dry rub:
zest of one lime
2 tablespoon 5 spice powder
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

for the mango sauce:
1/2 cup cubed mango
1 whole mango
1 1/2 inch knob fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon bourbon
zest and juice of 1/2 lime

Preheat oven to 350. Place the whole mango on a pan and bake 1 hour or until soft. Remove and allow to cool for one hour. Meanwhile, whisk together the rub the dry rub into the skin of the duck. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. Reduce heat to 325. Place the duck on a roasting rack on a roasting pan and roast for 2 hours or until cooked though*. Meanwhile, scoop the roasted mango out of the skin. Place in a saucepan with the cubed mango, cornstarch, ginger, bourbon and soy sauce. Heat, stirring occasionally until a thick sauce forms. Serve with the duck.

*If you would like to reserve the duck fat for another recipe, drain it off the bottom of pan every 1/2 hour to 45 minutes and pour into a heat safe container. Duck fat is amazingly tasty to cook with.

My thoughts:

My husband is obsessed with duck. Obsessed! But it is somewhat hard to find at the store and often very expensive. We've been wanting to make one for ages as I had actually never cooked a duck before and he loves them so. We had come across a reasonably priced duckling during a free trial visit to a big box store and snapped it up. I wanted to make sort of a modern version of the kitschy '60s staple duck a l'orange and thought mango would be perfect fruit to pair with duck. After attending the mango festival last year I have become a firm believer that everything tastes better with mango! So I decided to make "duck a la mango" with a Chinese twist instead of a French one. The roasted mango has an almost caramelized flavor and soft texture that is wonderful in the sauce while the fresh mango provides some texture contrast. The duck, of course, is excellent. Succulent and with just a hint of spice.