Chinese Five-Spice Roasted Duck Legs with Lentils and Cherries

, from Issue #73. July, 2017
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Chinese Five-Spice Roasted Duck Legs with Lentils and Cherries

The perfect combination of sweet and sour with tart cherries complementing the rich, meaty duck legs and a hearty salad of lentils and green beans.

Serves: 4


4 duck legs (thigh and drumstick)
sea salt, ground pepper and ground Chinese five-spice
Mustard dressing
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
sea salt and ground pepper
¾ cup puy lentils, cooked as per packet instructions
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
good handful fresh herbs ripped coarsely (I used mint and parsley)
250 grams green beans, blanched
680-gram jar pitted cherries, drained


Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.

Season both sides of the duck with salt and pepper then sprinkle the flesh side with a little five-spice powder.

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the duck, skin-side down. Cook until the skin is golden. Transfer to a shallow roasting tray and roast for 45 minutes or until tender.

Mustard dressing: Whisk all the ingredients together to make a thick emulsified dressing. Season.

Salad: Place the cooked puy lentils and the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss with ¾ of the dressing.

To serve: Divide the salad between plates. Top with a duck leg, then drizzle over the remaining dressing.