x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

How to enjoy duck without going on a crash diet straight afterwards

Although duck has a largely deserved reputation as a fatty meat, it is possible to minimise the calorie-count for a tasty yet healthy meal.

Duck is often thought of as being a rather fatty meat. To an extent, this reputation is warranted; shredded crispy aromatic duck is a calorific dish, as is French style confit duck leg (where the meat is slowly cooked in duck fat). Remove the skin and fat from the breast before cooking, though, and you're left with a tasty piece of meat that is high in B vitamins and a good source of iron, zinc and phosphorus.

The recipe below has plenty of authentic Chinese flavour and is packed with green vegetables, meaning that you don't need as much meat. The sauce doesn't contain any artificial sweeteners or preservatives and is free of hidden calories and synthetic flavourings. Because of the soy sauce, there is no need for added salt and the honey provides just enough sweetness. The vegetables are cooked briefly over a high heat, meaning that they retain their vibrant colour and valuable nutrients.

Try eating this dish with chopsticks instead of a knife and fork. By doing so, you will be forced to eat more slowly. Not only is this better for digestion, it also gives the brain time to register when you are full, meaning that you're likely to eat less.

This stir fry should be filling enough on its own, but if you're feeling particularly hungry then serve brown rice or noodles on the side.

Duck, honey and vegetable stir-fry

serves 2

1 large skinless duck breast, cut into thin strips
zest and juice of half an orange
2 garlic cloves, peeled and very finely chopped
2x2cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
half a red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1.5 tbsp groundnut oil
half head broccoli, cut into florets
120g thin asparagus tips
1 pak choi, cut into quarters lengthways
1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
75g mange tout

Mix together the orange zest, garlic, ginger, chilli, honey and soy sauce in a bowl. Add the strips of duck, stir well to coat and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.

Place a wok over a high heat. Pour in a tablespoon of oil and when you can feel a strong heat rising from the pan, add the duck pieces (first shaking off the excess marinade). Stir fry for 2-3 minutes, until the duck is browned and slightly sticky. Transfer the meat to a plate.

Return the wok to the heat, adding a touch more oil if it seems too dry. Add the broccoli, followed a minute later by the asparagus tips, pak choi, spring onions and mange tout. Mix the orange juice with the remaining marinade and pour into the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is starting to thicken. Return the meat to the pan, stir well and allow to heat through briefly before serving.

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