Chinese Duck & Five-Spice Pies Recipe

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When it comes to the basics, look no further than a cookbook by renowned Test Kitchen master Pamela Clark. Her simple, triple-tested recipes are delicious and genuinely foolproof. Her newest book, Pocket Pies, celebrates empanadas, pasties, turnovers and more from the world of sweet and savory handheld pastry. First up: rather than choose between Chinese takeout and homemade savory pie for dinner, why not find a happy compromise?

Reprinted from Pocket Pies

Chinese Duck & Five-Spice Pies Recipe
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  • 4 -pound whole duck
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 shallots
  • 2 tablespoons plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
  • 2 teaspoons orange rind
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Rinse duck under cold water.
  2. Place duck in large saucepan; cover with cold water.
  3. Bring to a boil, uncovered.
  4. Reduce heat; simmer covered for 30 minutes. Cool in water in pan.
  5. Remove meat from duck; discard skin and bones.
  6. Shred meat.
  7. Meanwhile, make five-spice pastry: process flour, rind and five-spice until combined.
  8. Add butter; process until crumbly. 
  9. Add egg and water; process until ingredients just come together.
  10. Knead dough on floured surface until smooth.
  11. Enclose in plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes. 
  12. Heat oil in large frying pan; cook shallot, stirring, until soft.
  13. Add flour; cook while stirring for 1 minute.
  14. Gradually stir in combined stock, wine, sauce, juice and sugar; bring to a boil.
  15. Simmer, uncovered for 3 minutes.
  16. Add duck; season to taste. Cool.
  17. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  18. Grease four (1-cup) round pie pans.
  19. Roll pastry between sheets of parchment paper until large enough to line pans with 2 inches of pastry overhanging.
  20. Lift pastry into pans, press into base and side.
  21. Divide duck mixture among pies.
  22. Fold excess pastry over filling to enclose.
  23. Position a cinnamon stick on each pie; brush with egg.
  24. Bake about 25 minutes.
  25. Stand pies in pans for 5 minutes before serving.
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