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Five-spice duck legs with squash and pomegranate recipe

Five-spice duck legs with squash and pomegranate recipe

4 ratings

If you're looking for a Christmas dinner with a difference, this festive spiced duck makes a wonderful alternative. Serve with sweet squash, earthy chestnuts and a sharp pomegranate salsa for a deliciously colourful dish that's dairy- and gluten-free, and guaranteed to become a firm family favourite. See method

  • Serves 6
  • 10 mins to prepare and 1 hr 45 mins to cook
  • 650 calories / serving
  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free


  • 3 x 462g packs duck legs
  • 2 tsp Chinese five-spice
  • 2 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 large butternut squash (approx. 1.2kg), halved lengthways, cut into 6 wedges and deseesded
  • 180g pack whole chestnuts
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 40g walnut pieces
  • 30g pack fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 80g pack pomegranate seeds
If you don't have any butternut squash, try sweet potato

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    34g 49%
  • Saturates

    8g 40%
  • Sugars

    13g 14%
  • Salt

    2.2g 37%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 29.8g Protein 57.8g Fibre 6.6g


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C. Trim the excess fat from under the duck legs; discard. Make 2-3 slashes through the skin on the top of each leg and rub with five-spice and salt flakes.
  2. Arrange the squash in a roasting tin and place the duck legs on top. Roast for 15 mins, then turn the squash and baste the legs. Add the chestnuts and cinnamon sticks to the tin and return to the oven. Reduce the heat to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C and roast for 45 mins.
  3. Put the walnuts on a small baking tray on a low shelf in the oven. Toast for 12 mins until lightly golden. Set aside.
  4. Turn the squash again and baste the duck legs. Return to the oven; reduce the temperature to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C and roast for 40-45 mins until the squash and the flesh on the legs is cooked through and tender, and the duck skin is crisp.
  5. Chop the walnuts and mix in a bowl with the parsley and pomegranate seeds; season. Discard the cinnamon sticks and serve the squash (sliced into wedges), chesnuts and duck legs with the salsa scattered over.

Get ahead: The salsa can be made a few hours ahead; keep chilled. Remove from the fridge 15 mins before serving.

See more Christmas dinner recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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