Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lucky Ducky

Duck with Chestnuts
After making pot roast for Christmas, was it any surprise that when I looked through my lovely new Mrs Handy, that I was immediately drawn to this Duck Pot Roast recipe?

I had a special occasion coming up, too. Some friends and I take turns hosting dinner. We each bring a dish, but it's not quite pot luck since we assign the dishes to be made in advance. Anyway, it was my turn to play host. What better to bring to a “pot luck”, I reasoned, than a pot roast? And I'd been dying to try my hand at cooking a whole duck.

I'm delighted to say that it went rather well. The duck was moist, juicy and the chestnuts were soft and tasty.  I'm pleased to say that the chestnuts were  my addition to the recipe.  They do add to the labour of making the dish though.  Whilst partially shelled, removing the rest of the shell and the outer skin of what must have been around 30 chestnuts took me about an hour. So feel free to drop the chestnuts if you wish.

1 whole duck (mine was approx 2.7kg and cost me $22)
2 tablespoons roasted coriander, finely pounded
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, finely pounded
1 dessertspoon sugar
Salt (to taste)
2-4 tablespoons thick soy sauce

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 shallots
2 teacups water
1 stick cinnamon
3-4 cloves

(Could add star anise as well, but I stuck to the recipe and didn't try this out).

300g chestnuts (boil  for about 20min or so, remove shell and skin)

1.  Rub the ground ingredients over the duck, together with the sugar, salt and soy sauce.

2.  Use a large, heavy bottomed pot.  Fry the onions in the oil till soft.  Add the duck, and fry till browned.  Add the spices, chestnuts and the water.  Cover the pot and cook.  Check the duck and turn over in the course of cooking.

3.  The duck should be cooked after about 1-1.5 hours. Remove duck and chestnuts, pour gravy in separate jug. Skim off the fat, and add the remaining gravy to the duck and chestnuts. (Be sure to keep the fat though. To use for cooking other dishes).


  1. Wow you are so courageous to cook an entire duck. Duck is kind of tricky to cook as the meat risks turning out a bit tough & there's so much fat to deal with too but bravo to you for sucessfully keeping it moist. I have no doubt it was tasty & a hit.
    Btw I like your pyrex dish as it looks like a familiar & reliable family favourite that's been serving many a meal & party through the years :)

  2. Dear Jean,
    Tks. I wanted to try it out for Chinese New Year. Let's hope duck two turns out fine as well!

    Re: pyrex dish, you're absolutely spot on :-) Believe it was one of my mother's wedding presents.



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