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Chinese Five-Spice Mallard with Plum Sauce

by Lydia Urwin

Mallard takes on marinades well – in this recipe, we marinate it in Chinese five-spice before grilling. Cutting the breasts lengthways allows us to thread the meat on to presoaked wooden skewers so they can be cooked on the barbecue.

They’re served in a wrap with a homemade plum sauce. This plum sauce recipe will give you more than you need but it’ll keep for up to two weeks in the fridge.  Given the spicy flavour of this dish, I recommend an oaky red wine such as Monte Real Reserva de Familia – a particularly oaky Rioja.

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 tsp Chinese five-spice
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 duck breasts, each cut lengthways into two strips
  • salt and pepper
  • 250g fresh plums
  • 125ml rice wine vinegar
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
METHOD
  • In a bowl, add the Chinese five-spice and oil, mix well then add the duck. Mix well, season, and allow to marinate overnight.
  • Remove the stones from the plums and chop them to a fine dice. Place the plums in a pan with the rice wine vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic and chilli then cook gently until the plums have broken down and gone to a purée. Remove from stove. Using a hand blender, blitz the sauce and taste. If too sharp, add a bit more sugar, or if too sweet, add a bit more vinegar.
  • Allow sauce to cool then place in the fridge.
  • Preheat the barbecue.
  • Remove the duck from the marinade and scrape off excess. Place onto wooden skewers that have been presoaked in water for 10 mins – this will help prevent them burning as the duck cooks.
  • Cook for 2–3 mins on each side, starting with the skin side down, and serve with plum sauce in a wrap with salad.

Serves 4

Recipe reprinted with permission. Check out our review of the book Feathers: The Game Larder.

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