Five Spice Roast Duck & Crispy Brussels

Crispy skinned five spiced roast duck…served with glossy carrots, crispy brussels and a sprinkling of pomegranate for a pop of freshness!

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The alternative Christmas dinner? Who am I kidding, TURKEY has been on my mind and top of the agenda for the big day since last year! Yes you can pick up turkey mince and breast meat during the year but thighs, legs and wings are virtually impossible to find…I’m just hoping it turns out as well for me as last year!

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This duck would make for the perfect alternative if you don’t have your heart set on a turkey this year. Equally you could serve it up as an appetiser/starter with some lettuce cups! Or if you fancy being indulgent in the New Year this is flavourful duck would be an ideal way to celebrate all things new, bright and beautiful! I’m quite the January fan…it’s the beginning of our days getting that little bit lighter and brighter after all!

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I haven’t eaten a whole lot of duck in my short meat eating years…that Skeaghanore smoked duck truly won me over. Eggs Benedict has to happen again over Christmas; such an fancy pants brunch treat.

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I finally took the plunge and purchased a whole duck…I was a little worried it would all go terribly wrong to say the least. It ended up being pretty hassle free. The mighty sized duck took longer to roast than I had considered; thankfully my butcher offered some advice so I didn’t end up with a duck that was on the not so delightful side of rare. Duck is actually a red meat so you can cook it rare if you prefer but to go with more blushed meat when cooking the breasts alone.

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A little rub of Chinese Five Spice, coconut oil and a squeeze of fresh Clementine juice …in to the oven for 2.5 hrs and out came a crispy skinned beauty loaded with flavour! Duck meat itself has quite the intense flavour and if I’m honest I would take chicken over it most days but it’s nice to switch things up a bit!

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I served it up quite simply with some roasted brussels…I like mine lightly charred around the edges, sprinkled with lots of Pink Himalayan salt and in this case toasted sesame seeds.

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Best served straight from the oven, these beauties are so darn addictive! I just can’t get enough of them lately!

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If you do have leftovers simply sauté them up in a pan with some ghee or coconut oil to revive them and serve with some shredded duck, poached egg on top or a crispy bottom fried one if you prefer! Whip up a quick hollandaise if you have the time!

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I know some families have quite a large party for dinner on Christmas day. Adding duck to the table offers variety and might mean you have some turkey leftover for whatever you fancy whipping up on St.Stephen’s Day!

What’s your favourite alternative meat to cook on Christmas Day? If I had to forgo turkey altogether I’d probably go all out with a rib eye roast on the bone!

Chinese Five Spice Roast Duck with Crispy Brussels

by Michelle Hunt

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2.5 hours

Keywords: roast appetizer breakfast entree side gluten-free grain free low-carb paleo soy-free brussels duck

Ingredients (Serves 4 – 6)

  • 1 large duck (approx. 2.5gkg)
  • 2 tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 2 tbsp (40g) honey
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil melted
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Clementine oranges whole
  • Juice from one clementine orange


  • 1lb (454g) brussels trimmed and sliced in half
  • 2 tbsp (28g) coconut oil melted
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp Pink Himalayan rock salt

To Serve

  • Roast carrots (roast alongside duck or on a separate tray for the last 45 minutes of cooking time!)
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Fresh mint to garnish


Whisk together vinegar, honey, orange juice and five spice. Dry duck with kitchen paper, place the clementines in to the cavity.

Pour over marinade and rub in to the crevices of the legs and wings.

Place in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.

Remove from the fridge 20 minutes ahead of cooking and preheat the oven to 200C (400F).

Place duck on to a rack over a roasting tray so that it’s elevated. Rub with melted coconut oil.

Cover with foil and roast for 2 hours. Remove foil and roast for a further 30 minutes giving the skin a chance to crisp up!

Allow to rest for a good 20 minutes before carving. Serve with roast brussels, carrots and garnish with pomegranate seeds and fresh mint.

For the Brussels

Place brussels on a baking tray lined with parchment paper if you like but it’s not necessary. Drizzle and toss with melted coconut oil and roast for 25 – 30 minutes; if you’re cooking the duck you can cook them at 200C (400F) but I prefer to cook mine at 180C (350F) if I have the option! Same for the carrots!

Toss with toasted sesame seeds and season with Himalayan salt to serve!

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