A whole roast duck makes a great centrepiece for a dinner party or special family lunch. With its rich, complex, gamey flavour, it is much more flavourful than other poultry and can stand up to strong, robust flavour pairings which is why it is popular in Chinese cuisine served with a tangy hoisin sauce. Duck à l’orange may have fallen out of fashion after the 1970s but the combination of fatty meat and acidic citrus will always be a great match.
For an extra crispy skin, pour a kettle of boiling water over the duck and then leave to dry for an hour before cooking.
If roasting vegetables to accompany your duck, cook the duck on a wire rack and place the vegetables on the shelf below. The duck fat will drip on to the vegetables and give great extra flavour.
To add extra flavour, stuff the cavity of the duck with herbs such as thyme, rosemary or lavender or an orange cut in half.
Marcello Tully serves his Whole roast duck with an Asian-inspired Szechuan sauce. Shaun Rankin has a festive Roasted and glazed Gressingham duck with spiced red cabbage and cranberries. Adam Gray removed the backbone from his duck before roasting for his Crispy duck with red cabbage coleslaw and orange watercress salad.
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