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How to carve a whole duck

by Great British Chefs8 December 2014

How to carve a whole duck

Carving a roast duck is a useful kitchen skill to master, similar to carving chicken but slightly different due to the shape of the duck. Duck meat has a rich flavour ideally served with an acidic or sweet sauce to cut through and contrast with the 'fatty' meat.


After roasting, leave the duck to rest for at least 20 minutes
Use a carving fork to support the duck in the middle of the breast then cut between the breast and the leg
Pull the leg downwards and away from the breast and snap off at the thigh joint
To remove the breast, keep the knife close to the breastbone and ribcage and slice downwards along one side of the breastbone over the ribcage and use your hands to gently remove the breast. The breasts can now be sliced into portions

Serving suggestions

Roast duck goes well with the traditional accompaniments to a roast lunch – roast potatoes (ideally cooked in duck fat), carrots, greens, gravy – as well as with fresher sauces and Asian flavours such as Marcello Tully's spicy Szechuan black bean sauce or fruity Passion fruit and star anise sauce that brings out the gamey flavours of the duck very well.

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