Duck with 7 spice rub



  • 90 g star anise
  • 90 g fennel seeds
  • 75 g coriander seeds
  • 30 g Sichuan pepper
  • 15 g cloves
  • 60 g cinnamon sticks
  • 1 large pinch of saffron
  • 90 g soft brown sugar
  • 60 g sea salt
  • 30 g whole black peppercorns
  • 1 whole Duck , (ask your butcher for the giblets, too)
  • olive oil
  • 1 orange 
  • ½ a bunch of fresh rosemary , (15g)
  • 2 onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • 1 handful of fresh bay leaves
  • 1 lug of port
  • 2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 litre organic chicken stock
  • 1 pomegranate
  1. To make the spice mix, blitz all of the ingredients in a food processor to a fine powder. Pour through a coarse sieve into an airtight jar, then discard any woody bits left behind in the sieve.
  1. Rub the Duck all over with a little olive oil and 2 heaped tablespoons of the spice mix, making sure you get into all the nooks and crannies. Keep the remaining spice mix for another day – it’s incredible on all roasted or grilled meats.
  2. Prick the orange and  all over with a sharp knife, then place into the goose's cavity with a few rosemary sprigs.
  3. Peel and quarter the onions, then chop the carrots and celery into large chunks. Place into a large roasting tray with the remaining rosemary, the bay and duck giblets. Toss well, add 150ml of cold water, then place the tray on the bottom shelf of the oven.
  4. Pop the duck directly on the bars above, so the juices from the goose drip into the tray, leaving you with crisp, beautifully succulent meat.
  5. When the Duck has been roasting for 1 hours, remove the veg tray from the oven and replace it with another tray. Skim away the fat from the veg tray , then place the tray on the hob over a high heat.
  6.  Continue to cook until duck through to, golden and crisp. Place the par cooked potatoes beneath duck. To check, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh – if the juices run clear, it’s done.
  7. Add the port and cook for around 3 minutes, or until reduced. Stir in the flour for a minute, then pour in the stock. Reduce to a simmer for around 10 minutes, or until thickened to a nice gravy consistency. Sieve into a medium pan, then set aside.
  8. When the time’s up on the Duck , remove it from the oven, cover with a double layer of tin foil and a tea towel and leave to rest for 20 to 25 minutes.
  9. Remove the tray from the oven, skim away and reserve the fat, then pour any juices into the gravy. Warm up the gravy on a medium heat.
  10. Once rested, place the Duck on a board 
  11. Carve away the legs, then shred the meat with two forks, discarding the bones. Carefully slice away the breasts, then slice up and place on a platter with the remaining shredded meat.
  12. Halve the pomegranate, then holding it in the palm of your hand cut-side down over the platter, bash the back with a wooden spoon so the seeds come tumbling out. Snap the crispy skin over the top, then serve with your hot gravy and all the trimmings.

serve with a citrus fennel salad