Five-spice powder is a strong, distinctive mixture of Szechuan pepper, star anise, cloves, cinnamon and fennel, available in the spice aisle or in the Asian grocery section of most supermarkets. Use sparingly, as directed, to add a touch of piquant Szechuan flavor to this recipe—unless you know you like it; in that case, increase quantity to your taste.
- 1, 3- to 5-pound whole, domestic
- 1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. powdered ginger
- 1⁄2 tsp. five-spice powder
- 1⁄3 cup honey
- 1 tsp. lime zest, finely grated
- 1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, strained to remove pulp and seeds
- 3 T. soy sauce
- 1 T. vegetable oil
- 2 tsp. fresh ginger, very finely minced
- 1 tsp. fresh garlic, very finely minced or put through a press
- 1 lime, cut into wedges or thin slices, for garnish (optional)
- Watercress or other greens for garnish (optional)
Rinse duck; pat dry. Combine pepper, salt, ginger and five-spice powder. Sprinkle some spice mixture in duckling’s body cavity; rub the rest on the skin. Using poultry skewers (small metal skewers available at your grocery store, often used for turkey) and kitchen string, skewer neck skin to back and tie legs to tail. Twist wing tips under back and prick the skin all over with a fork.
Set duckling breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan and place, uncovered, in a 375-degree F oven. Roast for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours and 15 minutes or until you can move the drumsticks easily in their sockets and the meat is no longer pink. If duckling is very fat, spoon fat from roasting pan occasionally during roasting.
Meanwhile, combine glaze ingredients. At three separate times during the last 15 minutes of roasting, brush glaze over duckling, using approximately one-third of the glaze each time and stirring glaze first to incorporate chopped ginger and garlic.
To serve, place whole duckling on a warm serving platter and carve at the table. Or, cut roast duckling into pieces and transfer to a warm serving platter before taking it to the table. Garnish either option with lime wedges or slices and greens if desired. Serves 3 to 4.