1 (4-pound) cleaned domestic duckling (fresh or frozen and thawed)
1 1/2 tablespoons five-spice powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups rock salt
Fresh herbs such as thyme and parsley (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 500°.
Remove giblets and neck from duckling; reserve for another use. Rinse duck under cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, and gently pushing your hand between the skin and meat.
Combine five-spice powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle spice mixture under loosened skin; rub into the body cavity. Tie ends of legs together with cord. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under duckling.
Spread rock salt in bottom of a shallow roasting pan. Place the duckling, breast side up, on rock salt. Pierce skin several times with a meat fork. Insert a meat thermometer in- to meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Bake at 500° for 45 minutes or until the thermometer reaches 180°. Cover duckling loosely with foil; let stand 10 minutes. Discard skin before serving. Garnish with fresh herbs, if desired.
Outstanding? No. A good, solid recipe? Yes. The duck had a nice flavor from the 5-spice seasoning, and some folks liked the addition of the orange sauce from the packet accompanying the duck. Our two boys (10 and 6), who love duck, did not love the 5-spice seasoning. We had the duck for a Hanukkah dinner, with sweet potato latkes seasoned with ginger and scallions. I would make it again, although I would probably look for another recipe for my kids' taste.
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