five spice roasted duck

The main event at Thanksgiving dinner is the turkey. I know that turkey is a Thanksgiving tradition, but I REALLY don’t like turkey. I think it’s dry and has no flavor. So I wanted to reimagine the center piece of the dinner and decided to go duck. Yes it is unorthodox but in Asian culture, ducks are eaten in times of celebration. And I think there is definitely a lot to celebrate and be thankful for this year even if it doesn’t seem like it. This is actually the first time I’ve ever made duck, and I honestly don’t know what I was waiting for. It has so much flavor and I absolutely love how easy it was to make. This is my recipe for five spice roasted duck.

marinating duck

Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments

Roasted Duck

  • Duck – I used 1 whole 4-5 pound duck for this recipe.
  • Five spice powder & salt – The combination of five spice and salt create the marinade for this duck recipe. The five spice adds flavor, and the salt seasons and draws out the moisture of the duck.
  • Yellow onions & shallots – Sweet yellow onions and shallots add flavor to this duck. A good substitute for both is white onions.
  • Thyme – Adds a herbaceous flavor to this duck. You can also substitute or add on sage and rosemary.

Tea Soy Sauce Glaze

This glaze is the perfect balance of umami, salty, and sweet. It is made with a combination of soy sauce, earl grey tea, mirin, rice wine vinegar, coriander, fennel, and star anise. To make this glaze gluten free, substitute tamari for soy sauce. You can also use any kind of black tea and vinegar for this recipe.

What is five spice powder?

Five spice powder is something that is associated with Asian cuisine, specifically Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine. It is made up of a mixture of 5 spices like its name suggests: star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds. These are the most common spices included in five spice powder but there are variations that include a variety of different spices like anise seeds, ginger root, and nutmeg. I used Simply Organic’s five spice powder which includes cinnamon, fennel, cloves, star anise, and white pepper.

Five spice powder is a great spice in both sweet and savory dishes. It is most commonly used with poultry like for this duck recipe or with chicken. I also like to use it with meatier fish like salmon.

duck before roasting

Making my five spice roasted duck

The first step is to marinate and dry out the duck as much as possible. So first, pat dry the duck. Combine five spice powder and salt. Rub the entire duck with the five spice powder mixture. Make sure to rub the seasoning in the cavity of the duck as well. Let it marinate in the fridge overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Next, get out a roasting pan. Add the cut up onions and thyme sprigs to the bottom of the pan. Stuff the shallots into the duck and place it on top. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. While the duck is roasting, make the glaze. Combine all the ingredients into a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer until half the liquid remains. Remove from the heat and set aside.

After 1 1/2 hours, remove the aluminum foil. Brush the glaze over the duck and bake for another 30 minutes uncovered until the center is 165 degrees F. Add a new layer of glaze after 15 minutes. Rest duck for 5 minutes before serving.

brushing glaze on the duck

Tips on how to make the perfect roasted duck

Rest the duck after roasting for the best results

If you don’t rest the duck before serving, all the juices will flow out once you cut into the duck, and you will get dry meat. Resting allows all the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making for a juicier outcome. This concept actually applies to all meats.

Use leftover drippings and aromatics for a quick sauce

I did not include this in the recipe below, but you can use the leftover stuff in the roasting pan for a simple sauce. I whipped up a quick sauce by adding some wine, lemon juice, and a little bit of sugar, and then reducing it until it thickens. It tastes soooo good drizzled over the duck.

five spice roasted duck
five spice roasted duck

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five spice roasted duck

Get the Recipe:
Five Spice Roasted Duck

A super simple recipe for roasted duck marinated in five spice powder and topped with a tea soy sauce glaze.
4.77 from 56 ratings

Ingredients
 
 

Roasted Duck

Tea Soy Sauce Glaze

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Pat dry the duck. Combine five spice powder and salt. Rub the entire duck with the five spice powder mixture. Make sure to rub the seasoning in the cavity of the duck as well.
  • Let the duck marinate in the fridge overnight.
  • The next day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Next, get out a roasting pan. Add the cut up onions and thyme sprigs to the bottom of the pan. Stuff the shallots into the duck and place it on top. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 1/2 hours.
  • While the duck is roasting, make the glaze. Combine all the ingredients into a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer until half the liquid remains. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • After 1 1/2 hours, remove the aluminum foil. Brush the glaze over the duck and bake for another 30 minutes uncovered until the center is 165 degrees F. Add a new layer of glaze after 15 minutes.
  • Rest duck for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Rest the duck after roasting for the best results – If you don’t rest the duck before serving, all the juices will flow out once you cut into the duck, and you will get dry meat. Resting allows all the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making for a juicier outcome. This concept actually applies to all meats.
  • Use leftover drippings and aromatics for a quick sauce – I did not include this in the recipe below, but you can use the leftover stuff in the roasting pan for a simple sauce. I whipped up a quick sauce by adding some wine, lemon juice, and a little bit of sugar, and then reducing it until it thickens. It tastes soooo good drizzled over the duck.
Calories: 848kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 76g, Saturated Fat: 25g, Cholesterol: 145mg, Sodium: 2746mg, Potassium: 646mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 499IU, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 88mg, Iron: 7mg
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