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5-spice Duck legs in Blackberry sauce

Aromatic duck legs roasted with blackberry and Chinese 5 spice.

Roast duck legs with blackberry sauce
5 spice Roast duck in blackberry sauce

We continue our autumn theme of cooking with freshly pick blackberries having earlier made blackberry porridge and blackberry mousse as shown on my Instagram page. Blackberries are so versatile. Not only are they good in sweet dishes, they also pair well with birds like ducks and pheasants for a different Sunday roast.

This dish is adapted from how my mum cooks ducks. I flavoured the sauce with blackberries instead of Chinese plums. It is not a complicated roast but do marinade the ducks overnight. The next day, spend about 10 minutes to put everything together in a roasting tin. The ducks need about an hour or an hour and a half in the oven. All that is left to do is prepare some vegetables, noodles or rice that you choose to serve the duck with. An easy Sunday roast.


To marinade 2 duck legs

  • 1 tbsp Chinese five spice

  • 4 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • 1 tsp garlic minced

  • salt and pepper

  • 1 tbsp of olive oil ( I use sesame oil)

  • 1 tbsp of hot water

Mix everything together in a small bowl. Put the duck legs in a large food bag and pour the marinade mix over the duck. Seal the back and keep in the fridge overnight.

To roast the ducks


  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • a couple of star anise

  • 200g of fresh blackberries

  • a pitch of sugar

  • 2 tbsp of Chinese rice wine ( or whisky)

  • a knob of butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 c

  2. In a roasting tin, put 200g of fresh blackberries and a pitch of sugar in.

  3. Lay the duck legs and all the marinade sauce on top.

  4. Pour a 2 tablespoons of Chinese rice wine ( Shao Xing) or Whiskey over the duck.

  5. Add a cinnamon stick and a couple of star anise.

  6. Transfer the tin to the oven and roast for 1 hours or 90 minutes, turning and basting every 20 minutes.

  7. Once the ducks are cooked, lift them out on to a warm serving plate to rest.

  8. Pour the sauce from the roasting tin through a sieve over a saucepan. Add a knob of butter and simmer it gently for 5 minutes. Serve it with ducks.

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