5 SPICE DUCK BREASTS WITH BABY BOK CHOY AND ORANGE, MUSHROOM, GINGER SAUCE
1 cup chicken stock
¼ cup oyster sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice Powder
4 duck breasts, boneless, skin-on (about 1 ¾ – 2 pounds)
1-pound mixed wild mushrooms, sliced (shitake, oyster, cremini, etc…)
3 tablespoons fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
10 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
3 small-medium heads baby bok choy, cut in half or into quarters if large
1 ½ cups scallions, chopped
¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2-3 cups cooked sushi rice, cooked to package directions
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine until brown sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Set aside.
Dry the duck breasts thoroughly with paper towels and trim any excess fat, leaving skin intact. Using a sharp knife, score the skin of the duck breast in parallel diagonal slashes about 1” apart, taking care, not to cut the flesh under the skin. Then make diagonal cuts in the opposite direction to make a crosshatch pattern. This will allow the fat to render and create a crispy skin.
Whisk the salt, pepper, and 5 spice together in a small bowl. Season the duck breasts on both sides with the spice mix. Place the breasts, skin-side down, in a large COLD cast iron skillet. Turn the heat to medium and let the breasts cook until the skin is crispy brown and most of the fat has rendered, about 10-12 minutes, depending on the size of the breasts. Flip to the flesh side and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from the pan to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Note – the duck may not be completely cooked through but will finish cooking in the sauce.
Add the mushrooms, ginger, and garlic to the pan drippings and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms begin to lightly brown and ginger is fragrant. Add the bok choy, 1 cup of the scallions, and orange juice to the pan. Stir constantly, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan
Whisk the reserved sauce and add it to the pan. Continue stirring to coat and until a thick and glossy sauce has formed, about 1-2 minutes. Add the duck back to the pan, skin-side-up, and continue to cook until the duck reaches and internal temperature of 135-140 degrees. If the duck breasts are very thick, you may need to cover the pan for a minute to allow them to cook through.
Just before serving, sprinkle the remaining ½ cup scallions over the top of the pan. Serve the duck breasts over about ½ cup of the rice, topped with the sauce and some of the bok choy. Garnish with sesame seeds and more scallions.
Note – For presentation, I like to cut the duck into medallions, across the grain, and served fanned on top of the rice, then topped with sauce. Duck should be light pink in the center for medium to medium rare doneness.