The duck is stuffed with citrus, then slow cooked until the meat is falling off the bones and the skin perfectly crisped. A restaurant recipe that requires minimal effort and yields the best results.
Having grown up in Beijing, I have a special attachment to duck. We’re spoiled by ubiquitous perfectly roasted Peking duck, a luxurious yet affordable dining choice that we enjoy a few times a year. I can finish half a duck myself. I enjoy eating the duck skin by itself with a bit of sauce (without the meat and without the pancake). In my world, it tastes way better than crispy bacon.
Since moving to the US, I’ve been craving duck.
The first time I dealt with a whole duck, I slow cooked it Mediterranean style. I quartered the duck, placed it on a bed of vegetables and herbs, and slow cooked it until tender. Right before serving, I crisped up the skin by heating the duck pieces under the broiler. It generated nearly duck-confit texture.
It was almost perfect, but my friend and reader Saint Phlip told me there was a better way.
The best slow roast duck
This recipe was originally shared by the chef of a hotel restaurant in Marietta, Ohio. According to Saint Phlip, it’s the tastiest duck she’s ever tried.
To cook the duck, you stuff it with several citrus fruits, then roast it at a very low temperature (95 to 120 C / 200 to 250 F). It requires a long, slow roast. But you don’t need to do anything during the roasting. No flipping, no touching.
When you’ve almost forgotten the duck, 5 hours later, you will suddenly smell a wonderful aroma coming from the kitchen. That’s when you know the duck is getting good.
The next 2 hours will be the most difficult. Your room will be filled with the wonderful roasting fragrance that reminds you of a steak house. You’ll start to check on the duck every 10 minutes, wondering why it’s still not ready. DO NOT pull out the duck now. Be patient!
When you start to worry that you’ve roasted it for too long and suspect the duck meat has lost its moisture, your dinner is ready.
You will be amazed when try to move the duck onto a carving board. You might accidentally crack the skin apart or pull a leg off. I know it’s cliche to say this, but the duck is literally fall-off-the-bone tender (as proof of my words, see the picture below). You might end up serving a “pulled duck”, since it’s nearly impossible to keep the whole thing intact. Restrain yourself from snacking on the crispy skin. You might finish the whole thing before you have a chance to serve your guests.
Don’t be scared away by the long cooking time of this recipe, because:
- The active prep time is 10 minutes. And you’ll need another 10 minutes to cook the sauce and serve the duck. In total, there’s only 20 minutes of active cooking time.
- You can cook the duck one day or several days ahead, freeze the duck, and serve it later.
- If you’re serving the duck for a party, you can start roasting it in the morning, then heat it up before dinner.
Compared to roasting a perfect chicken, roasting the best duck is much easier. And it is definitely more festive.
There are a few good ways to serve the duck. In the recipe below, I introduce the original sauce recipe – a delightful and sweet sauce made from white wine and fruit preserves.
For those who miss a perfectly roasted Peking duck from back home, cook duck pancakes, and serve everything with chopped green onions and cucumbers. I guarantee you the dish will taste just like home.
For those who enjoy a savory sauce, head over to the Mediterranean duck recipe and cook the olive sauce.
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Duck de Marietta (The Best Slow Roast Duck)
- 1 2.5 kg / 5 to 6 pound whole duck (I used D'Artagnan Rohan Duck)
- 5 to 6 mixed citrus fruits blood orange, lemon, and/or mandarin, peels removed
- Sea salt
Sauce (*see footnote)
- 4 tablespoons jam of your choice (blueberry, apricot, etc.)
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 to 4 tablespoons potato starch (or cornstarch)
- Adjust oven rack to the lower third. Preheat oven to 120 C (250 degrees F). Line a baking pan with aluminium foil (for easy cleanup) and top with a V-rack.
- Prepare a plate. Transfer the giblets from the duck to the plate. Use a pair of poultry shears to remove the duck neck and trim the neck skin. Do not trim any skin from the bottom of the duck, because it will keep the meat moist during roasting. Save the duck neck for making sauce or stock. Save the giblets for cooking or making stock.
- Place duck on a working surface or a cutting board. Stuff citrus inside of the duck, using as many fruits as you can. Use a few toothpicks to seal the bottom of the duck, to secure the fruits inside.
- Use a sharp paring knife to score the duck breast, about 1 cm (⅓ inch) apart. This will help the duck render fat faster and create a crispy skin. If you’re not familiar with this process, I suggest you start slow. The thickness of duck skin is not consistent. You need to avoid slicing through the meat, which will cause the duck to lose moisture. Gently press the knife. You might need to slice a few times to get the cut just right. (*see footnote 1)
- Rub both sides of the duck with plenty of sea salt. Place duck on the V-rack, breast side up.
- Bake until the skin turns golden brown, 6 to 7 hours (depending on the thickness of the duck skin). You do not need to flip the duck or monitor the process.
- (Optional) When most of the duck fat has rendered and the skin has become thin (usually 6 hours to 6.5 hours), turn up the heat of the oven to 260 degrees C (500 F) to brown the duck for another 5 to 10 minutes. This method works better when you choose a duck breed with thinner skin (or a duck that was air-chill processed). The skin will crisp up nicely and the meat will remain more juicy.
- Remove the duck from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Do NOT cover the duck with foil. This step further crisps up the skin. The stuffing will keep the duck meat hot.
- Transfer the duck onto a large cutting board. Carefully remove the citrus fruits (they will be very hot!) from the duck with a fork or a pair of tongs, and discard them.
- To carve the duck beautifully, you can refer to this video. Alternatively, you can simply pull the meat apart by hand.
- Transfer the rendered duck fat into a small bowl. When it has cooled off, cover with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. Save for later use.
Option 1 - Fruity sauce
- While resting the duck, cook the fruit sauce.
- Dissolve potato starch in a few tablespoons of the white wine.
- Heat the rest of the white wine in a small saucepan until warm. Add jam of your choice. Stir and mix so that the jam incorporates with the wine. When the liquid comes to a simmer, taste it and adjust the flavor by adding more wine or jam. Remove the pan from the stove.
- Stir the potato starch slurry again to let it fully dissolve in the wine. Slowly pour it into the sauce, stirring at the same time. Add enough slurry to get the sauce to the desired thickness.
- Pour a few spoonfuls of the sauce onto a serving plate. Place the carved the duck onto the sauce. Serve warm with extra sauce on the side.
Option 2 - Peking duck
- Cook duck pancakes (or use store-bought ones). Steam to heat them up while resting the duck.
- Serve duck and pancakes with hoisin sauce, sliced green onion, and sliced cucumber.
- If you’re not serving the duck right away, wrap the meat in aluminum foil and let it cool down to room temperature. Move it to a ziplock bag, press out as much air as possible, and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to a month.
- To reheat, place the duck, skin side up, on a roasting pan. Transfer into the oven and preheat to 260 degrees C (500 F). Bake until the duck heats up and the skin turns crispy, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Cut duck giblets (liver, heart, and gizzard) into even-sized chunks and combine with a spoonful of Chinese distilled liquor (白酒, bai jiu), vodka, or Shaoxing wine in a small bowl. Add a teaspoon of cornstarch and season with salt. Mix well. Marinate for 5 minutes.
- Heat oil in a skillet. Gently cook the giblets over medium low heat until cooked through and the surface browned.
- Season with black pepper and serve warm.
- Many recipes suggest puncturing the duck meat with a sharp knife or fork. I personally do not like that method so much. It is slower and the duck won’t look so pretty compared to one with scored skin.
This is a festive dish, so we’re not going to count calories here 🙂
Questions and Reviews
I MUST try this
Yes you do 🙂
Wow Maggie your recipes never fail to grab my attention. This is going on my list for Christmas – I know it’s a while away (!) but this would be perfect for entertaining. No fuss, maximum flavour.
Definitely try it out! I love this recipe so much. It’s a perfect dish to cook for Christmas 🙂
Tried this for Thanksgiving and LOVED it! I’ve done some very intense duck recipes in the past, and this one is simple, yet the best of them all. It’s also very easy to adjust to personal taste.
Thanks for sharing!
Hi Nick, I’m so happy to hear you like this recipe! It’s one of my favorites. Me too, I think it is really simple and produces very nice result. I stopped looking for new duck recipes after learning about this one lol Thanks for leaving a comment. Have a great day 🙂
Hi would this recipe work for a 5.5/6kg foie gras duck? Would I need to adjust the cooking time?
Hi Emma, sorry for replying this so late. I was trying to find a way to answer your question, but I couldn’t get a chance to cook another duck so far.
I do not have a perfect answer to this question because young ducklings were the only birds I’ve been dealing so far. From my experience, I would say you adjust the recipe by raising the cooking temperature to 300 F and adjust cooking time along the cooking. A bigger bird requires longer time to roast, and timing can be tricky if you’re cooking for a party. Cooking at 250F requires too many hours, so I’m not sure that’s practical. If cook at 300, you will still have enough time to get the duck crisp up while the meat stays tender. The roasting time is rather forgiven, and you can easily keep the duck warm with lowest setting if you finish the cooking earlier.
No matter which recipe you decide to use in the end, I hope your holiday dinner turns out great!
Thanks I was planning on putting it in the oven overnight on the 24th so as to leave the oven free to cook other things on the 25th, then popping it back in the oven half an hour before serving to reheat and crisp up. Hopefully that will work?!
An Australian duck cooking virgin here! I need to cook 2 ducks both about 2.5 kg. Should I follow your idea of increasing the temperature as you suggested for the 5.5/6kg duck or just stick with temperature and timings as suggested in your recipe?
Thanks in anticipation! cheers
Hi Lesley, I think you can just stick with the temperature and timing in this recipe. It should work for two ducks baking at the same time.
Happy cooking and hope the duck turns out great! Happy Holidays ?
I am planning on making this awesome looking recipe for New Years Eve. If I roast it the day
before and store in plastic bag in fridge is it best to bring it to room temperature before reheating?
Hi Laura, sorry I got back late again. We usually don’t bring it to room temperature before reheating. And yes, placing the duck on a rack over a roasting pan will keep the bottom part crispy.
I hope your dish turned out well. Happy New Year!
Also, when reheating it states to reheat in a roasting pan, should it be placed on a rack??
I enjoyed this immensely, but found that 250 F only required about 4 hours. Next time I’ll try 200F ( oven temps may vary)
I stopped when the internal temp was 172F. Fruit sauce was apricot jam with whole cherries…Yum
Hi Philip, glad to hear you enjoyed the duck. Yes I found out the cooking time varies a lot depending on the oven.
Your version of fruit sauce sounds so yummy! I’ll definitely try it out next time when I get some cherries.
Happy New Year!
This was the first time I cooked duck. There are so many intimidating recipes out there. This was simple and perfect with moist meat and crispy skin. I cooked at 200F convection oven for 6.5 hours, then 450 for 15 minutes, but finished under the broiler. Only note: I think I had a thick skinned or fatty duck. The slashes in the skin did not work. I eventually had to pierce it all over at about 5 hours.
Thank you Maggie!
Hi Duane, I’m glad you like the recipe! Yes I’ve also noticed that the result can be different if using a fattier duck. It’s a great idea to pierce the skin during the cooking. I found out pierce raw skin can be trick and you might accidentally damage the meat. Anyhow, glad the recipe worked for you. It’s my favorite duck recipe too 🙂
Piercing the skin after it has been in the oven was very easy. Easier than piercing the raw skin.
Just tried this slow cook technique and the duck and the breast came out tender! So easy just leave it in the oven and wait till dinner time. It’s like a dry confit. The skin is crispy when it comes out of the oven but like any other roasts, cripiness don’t like. But I think this recipe will freeze well (like a confit), can just thaw and finish by browning the skin on the stove before serving.
Hi DJ, I’m glad to hear the recipe worked for you! Yes the duck freezes well. I’ve tried it a few times. The skin will crisp up nicely once you reheat them in the oven. Next time if you want to freeze the duck, wrap them tightly with aluminum foil and seal them in plastic bags, so they will stay juicy and won’t get freezer burn 🙂
Hi Maggie, so looking forward to trying this recipe soon! Thank you for sharing 🙂 I noticed that in one of your photos you wrapped the tops of wings and legs with aluminium foil. Is this a necessary step and if so do you keep it on for the whole time? Many thanks, Elishia
Hi Elishia, sorry for replying this so late. To answer your question, yes I do wrap the wings and leg tips with foil whenever I bake a chicken or a duck, just to keep the parts from burning. You don’t have to do this if you’re not intend to eat that part. And yes I do keep it on the whole time, because the parts will turn out crispy due to the long cooking time.
Hi Maggie, thanks for a great recipe! I cooked a 2.5 kg duck for 5 1/2 h on 100° C, then 1 1/2 h on 110° C and finished off with 15 min on 230° C. The only other small modifications I made was to put a whole topped off garlic in with the citrus fruits and to add some paprika and black pepper along with the salt on the outside. Very easy and simple to cook and fabulous result. I worried that the initial temp had been too low and that I might have left it too long at 230 at the end, but the bird turned out very tender and tasty. It’s been ages since I roasted a whole duck, will definitely repeat this more often.
My supermarket bought duck, surprisingly tasty and luckily entirely free of the slight stench so common in much mass produced poultry, unfortunately came without neck and giblets, so there wasn’t much to make a sauce from. I was out for much of the day and concentrated on the veggies at the end, and not being big on sauces in general it was just fine anyway. I used a little of the broth/rendered fat, as is, like a minimalist gravy. It was tasty and less fatty than imagined and very good. I made steamed Brussels sprouts, sauteed at the and with butter, mini red onions and a few fresh dates; plus grated kohlrabi and bottle neck squash baked with olive oil, with pumkin seeds, feta cheese and chopped pomelo slices added at the end. A fine meal, more festive than planned.
A 2004 Ghemme (Cantalupo Breclemae) was a superb pairing.
Hi Geir, thank you so much for the detailed feedback! I’m glad to hear the recipe worked out for you, and you enjoyed the dish 🙂
As for the gravy issue, you could try out the fruit sauce if you do not mind a sweet sauce. I always like to serve my duck with something sweet and citrus. The white wine (or sparkling wine) and jam method is my go-to sauce for most of my duck dishes.
Your side dishes sound like a feast! We love brussels sprouts too but always bake them. I’ll need to try out your method soon. It sounds SO GOOD!
I’ll try to use this recipe to make a Cantonese roast duck soon. Hopefully it will turn out as well.
Have a great weekend Geir, and happy cooking!
Got 2 ducks ready for roasting! Love the detailed simplicity of your recipes. Tomorrow we cook!
Happy cooking Troy! Let me know how the ducks turn out and I hope you enjoy them 🙂
You know I’ve never actually tried duck but by God this has inspired me! To the Asian grocery store I go!
You need to try this one out Moira! It is by far my favorite whole duck recipe because the result is spot on every single time.
Happy cooking and let me know how the dish turns out 🙂
Hi Maggie My husband and I just finished our wonderful duck dinner. Even though I’m 67 I was afraid to ruin a nice duck. Your post gave me the confidence, it was laid out so well. I simply followed your instructions, and my duck was outstanding. I’m not afraid anymore. Thanks so much for teaching me how to roast a duck. Pam
Wow, amazing! Made duck for the first time today and followed this recipe. It was super easy and delicious – everyone LOVED it. Thank you!
Hi, I bought a duck yesterday, having no idea how I was going to cook it! And here I am 🙂
Just a quick question though, the duck is only 1.7kg….should I cook on a lower temperature or cook reduce time?
Hi Karla, I think you can lower the cooking temperature to 200F. I’m not sure exactly the hours it takes to roast the duck though (it also depend on the real temperature of your oven). You should keep an eye on the duck after 4 hours, check on it every 30 minutes or so without open the oven. I think it can takes anytime between 5 to 6 hours. The recipe is rather forgiven so it’s unlikely you’ll overcook it.
Happy cooking and hope the duck turns out great! 🙂
Do you cover the pan while you cook the duck?
Hi Trish, you shouldn’t cover the pan while cooking the duck.
It seems a little crazy discarding the fruit at the end when you could make a delicious sauce from them.
This was perfection!
So glad I found your recipe today as I was trying my first attempt at duck! Perfect and so easy. The husband and all 5 children loved it! I made a sauce to serve on the side for it (blueberry jam with balsamic vinegar). Can’t wait to make it again.
I bought a five pound duck on impulse after my shift at the Park Slope Food Coop Saturday, and decided to cook it before going away for Thanksgiving. I found a few recipes online, two that suggested cooking it at 400 for 45 minutes, flipping it three times, but comments were critical and complained of dry meat… I tend to overcook, and hate it when I turn a good cut of meat into jerky. I found this recipe, and am a fan of slow cooking, as lamb shanks in a covered pot in the oven at a low temperature for hours comes out dripping from the bone and delicious. So I rinsed it, scored the skin, rubbed it with sea salt and smoked paprika, and instead of citrus filled it with a handful of garlic cloves and couple of black garlic cloves, stitched it shut and put it in the oven at 250 (I have a convection oven, fans, not full convection, so put it on the middle rack as temperature would be even) around 8 PM, and went back to work at my computer. I didn’t have a V rack, just laid it on a flat rack in a foil lined pan, and left it alone I checked it the first and third hours, then again three hours later, and the loft smelled amazing by then. Around 2 AM I turned up the heat to 500 for ten minutes, and pulled it from the oven to cool, then put it in a container and into the fridge overnight after taking a heavenly taste. BEST. DUCK. EVER. Moist sooooo tender, skin soooo crisp! Garlicky, moist, and so tender the breast meat could almost have been spread like pate. Today I took some dressing and leg/thigh to work in a container nuked it in the microwave, and it was magnificent. I’ve always loved Peking Duck, and ordered it from a local place that had a half duck at a reasonable price. No more! I cooked up the giblets into a nice meaty stock that I mixed with wild rice to make a nice dressing, and plan to make a nice pomegranate reduction sauce that would be a nice touch. But I will NEVER roast duck any other way again! This was perfection…. Thanks so much! Now I have to see what else you’ve been up to here… 😉
I’d like to try this but was curious if the duck is covered in the baking pan or uncovered during cooking?
Hi Donna, the duck is uncovered udring cooking. The skin will crisp up this way and the meat will remain juicy. It’s really great 🙂
Looking forward to trying this on Christmas day.
I just got a small 1.5 kg duck from a small local family business and would like to try this recipe for our 2 person Xmas dinner. I’m planning to bake at 100°.
Any suggestions on how to adjust cooking time for this small bird as it’s 1kg less than the recipe?
Hi Jack, I think for a smaller duck with a lower temperature, you probably need 1 or 2 hours less. I think the best way is to roast the duck for 4 hours, then you can try gently pull the leg. The duck will become so tender that you can easily pull the leg apart from the body. If the duck is not ready, increase the cooking time by an hour. The recipe is very forgiven, so the duck will still be very good if the baking time is a bit longer.
Happy cooking and hope the duck turns out great! Happy Holidays 🙂
I made this duck yesterday for Christmas and it was DELICIOUS. The meat was so tender and the skin so crispy. I loved the idea of just letting it cook all day and giving me a break after doing lots of cooking for Christmas Eve. I served it with a cranberry wine sauce (just warmed some canned cranberry sauce with red wine and thickened with a corn starch slurry). And I roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts in the duck fat. So good! So easy! Thanks!!
Hi Deb, I’m glad to hear the recipe worked for you! Yes, I love the fact that the duck is easy to prepare and the result is so rewarding 🙂 Duck fat roasted potato and brussels sprouts sound super yummy! I hope you had a great Christmas. Happy New Year to you and your family!
Finally – crispy skin meets juicy meat! This was so easy and the best method I’ve ever tried for duck. I used a Mary’s duck from CA and had to turn the oven up to 325 at hour 7 to render more fat for 30 more mins but it turned out beautifully. In the past I would get crispy skin but the meat would dry out at higher temps.
Hi Bryan, I’m glad to hear the method worked for you! It is by far my favorite duck recipe and I’ve been cooking duck this way since I discovered the method 🙂 Happy New Year!
Fabulous, memorable for all the right reasons.
We have just enjoyed this recipe on the balcony in Portugal with the sun shining.
This is possibly the most memorable meal this holiday.
So happy to hear you enjoyed the dish! And the table setting sounds so lovely. Hope you have a great week ahead 🙂
Fatastic Recipe !!!! I finally know how to cook a perfect duck.
So glad to hear you like the recipe as much as I do Dyana!
Hi Maggie,I used your recipe to the letter and and it came out perfectly.
Thanks a lot
Can I substitute 2 duck breasts for a whole duck? Any cooking time changes?
I have used a (what we thought) was the most delicious duck recipe for years. My hubby came down with SIBO so that recipe went out the window. I ran across your recipe….we are amassed how fantastic it is.
Great recipe! I baked this in a Dutch Oven using the backbone as my “rack” (so I could use all those glorious bits for duck stock after everything was said and done). I used a star-anise spiced plum jam (and arrowroot instead of cornstarch) for my sauce and served everything along with squash-tarragon soup and squash sourdough. This was for sure a home run recipe and all my flavor choices played well with each other. Can’t wait to eat leftover duck tomorrow with the sauce on the squash sourdough bread, panini style! Thank you!!!
I tried this technique Sunday, November 4, 2018.
Like you said it was tender not dry and easily pulled away from the carcass.
I totally thought I messed up when I realized at the 5 hour mark I had been cooking the duck at 200 degrees Fahrenheit instead of 250. So I turned it to 250 for last two hours.
My second goof up was I didn’t put it on a rack. However, despite the goof ups it turned out really good.
Time for new glasses. 😂
We love Duck, finally I found the best ever recipe, thank you s much. The only thing I did different was the sauce (didn’t have wine or jam lol) so used Chicken broth, cranberry jelly, and cornstarch. Even my brother who isn’t crazy about Duck, loved it. Thank you.
What a great recipe!
I just needed to adjust the temperature a little and cook it at 170 for 7 3/4 hr.s and finish with 15 minutes at 450 in a convection oven as I needed to extend the cooking time to allow for an airport pickup of our arriving guest.
They were absolutely famished when they arrived not having eaten for 12 hours due to their traveling.
The aroma from this magnificent duck permeated the air as we entered our home guest in tow and they beamed as this scent greeted our arrival.Upon plating with jasmine rice and our Mandarin rum orange sauce and a few side salads we were exhiliarated by deliciousness of this splendid bird.
The meat was spectacular and the skin crackling crispy, the best duck any of us had ever eaten.
The only modification I made as far as ingredients was substituting Black Seal rum for the Chinese liquor but the rum with the citrus made the sauce devine. A fantastic dish and a recipe that will be our go to for duck from now on.
Maggie! I’m actually cooking it now for thanksgiving, it’s been in the oven for 5 hours and 30 min @ 225f. It’s not completely brown yet so I will give it another hour crank it up to 450 for 15 min. I’m a little nervous of it being over cooked but after reading everybody’s comments I think I’ll be ok! I’ll keep u updated! Thank you so much!
Excellent and easy recipe. I used a 6.5 lb duck. Super fatty. Cooked at 250 for 7 hours, then upped the temp to 500 for 15 mins. Result was perfectly crisped skin and super tender, pull apart meat. I used chunks of orange and lemon to stuff, sea salt only for seasoning. I’d post a picture if the site would allow, but it looks just perfect. I remember learning from my mom to always cook duck at low temp for very long periods of time, she did 225 degrees for 8 hours. So very similar. Thank you for the reminder of how to cook a perfect duck.
A friend gave me a frozen duck a month before Thanksgiving. After seeing the guest list I knew I had to buy another. I allowed the ducks to thaw in the refrigerator for 3 days. The night before T-giving I made cuts in the fat. In a bowl, I put ground salt and pepper, garlic and onion powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper. I rubbed the 1st duck with half of the dry rub. Before adding rub to 2nd duck I added some Chinese 5-spice to the dry rub and sprinkled and rubbed it in.
The 1st duck I stuffed with a sprig of thyme, chunks of Vidalia onion, an apple(cores and quartered) and chunks of raw deer sausage(any sausage will do).
The 2nd duck I stuffed with sprig of thyme, then peeled a navel orange, 2 limes and 2 tangerines leaving them whole.
I then place celery stalks on the bottom of the pan and placed the ducks breast side up. 250’ for 6 hours 15 minutes.
Can you make an orange sauce with this ?
Hi Michael, I do have an orange sauce recipe here: http://omnivorescookbook.com/orange-chicken-sauce/
When cooking in advance and reheating to serve, should I carve the duck then reheat in pieces or reheat whole?
Hi Krystal, I’ve tried both ways they worked out well. I would recommend reheat them with a higher temperature (400 F) in pieces, which will generate a crispier skin. Happy cooking!
Hi, is it possible to get the same juicy results if the duck is not whole but cut up into pieces before baking or is it going to dry out? If I line my pan with citrus and place the duck pieces skin side up right on top of the citrus, would that work too? If yes, does the baking time and method change? Please advise.
Thanks in advance
Hi Adelina, I’ve never tried to use this recipe to cook smaller cuts. I think it won’t work as well as the whole duck because the meat will lose some juice during the baking. That’s being said, if you’re using various bone-in skin-on cuts, I’d try the method you suggested (place the duck on top of citrus with skin side up). It should still come out quite moist with crispy skin.
Maggie … this was THE BEST DUCK that I have ever roasted … made this for Christmas Day and I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive regarding the 7 hour cooking time but you made me a believer … I have NEVER had a roasted duck turn out so tender … BRAVA!
I made this recipe for Christmas yesterday. Wow! Absolutely perfect. I had a small duck about 2kg. Mine was fall off the bone tender in 6 hours at 120 degrees C. I did mine in the evening of the 24th and just reheated for Christmas lunch. It’s the first time that I ever prepared a duck and I’m so glad I did. Thank you for this foolproof recipe. I will most certainly make it again.
Thank you so very much . for . this . recipe.
I prepared this yesterday, 12/30/18 with the most satisfying results.
Wishes for a safe and truly Blessed New Year !
Wow wow wow. That duck was amazing we wil definitely be making that atand again We went with a n apricot preserves mixed with kung fu girl Riesling wine for the fruit sauce and it was amazing Thank you again
I made this and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever made in my life. I will be making this again and again. Thank you VERY much for sharing. I’ll be looking at more of your recipes. Thanks!!
Hello Maggie, Sweden cooking/calling 🙌
Thank you for this recipe, watching the duck slowly do it’s drip drip drop, whilst the aroma spreads in the kitchen. Is a big fan of low tempered cooking, so I’m trying Geirs modifications 100 * C for 5 h etc.
Chopped up too much citrus fruits so I used that+ carrots, leek, giblets, orange marmalade, star anise, tomato paste, white wine and water to make a sauce foundation, also on a slow burn on the stove, now waiting for the filling, could it get more Zen 😂?!
Perhaps I’ll serve it with some duck fat potatoes and grilled fennel and a dash of cream in the sauce, because why not (🙈😂🙈)
Ps. Had a mishap on the scoring and harmed the breast meat, hope that it’s not doomed!
If so, they say practice make perfect so: Get up on that horse again, as we say in Sweden!Ds
Again, thanks for sharing‼
My husband LOVES duck; he’ll order it at a restaurant almost every time. I had never tried cooking a duck, until THIS perfect recipe. Foolproof and amazingly delicious. I also made the sweet sauce with cherry preserves, it was wonderful as well. My husband will probably never order duck at a restaurant again.
Hi Maggie! I truly appreciate all of your and replies to questions.
My husband and I are going to be making 2 ducks for thanksgiving! In the storage section the instructions state: To reheat, place the duck, skin side up, on a roasting pan. Transfer into the oven and preheat to 260 degrees C (500 F). Bake until the duck heats up and the skin turns crispy, 10 to 15 minutes.
Do we preheat the oven with the duck inside already? Or should we preheat and then put the duck in (which is what I would expect!)
Hi Harriet, yep, you should preheat the oven and then put the duck in. Happy cooking and I hope you enjoy the dish!
If I were to pass on the fruit side of things, maybe stuff the duck with stuffing, how would that effect cooking time? Are there any other ways to stuff a duck what you would reccumend?
Hi Amber, I’m afraid I cannot provide a great answer since I’ve never cooked the dish using other stuffings.
I was on my own for Thanksgiving yesterday and had already had a duck ready to cook. I tried your recipe and it was great. The meat was tender and literally fell off the carcass (which I gave to the local feral animals for their Thanksgiving treat). I paired it with wild rice and JK’s Scrumpy hard cider for a sweet contrast.
I’ve never reviewed a recipe before, but this one is worth the effort. I have made this duck twice so far: once for my family the first [and so far only] the I hosted Christmas Eve, and once as one of the meat options at a 20+ person Friendsgiving [alongside a second duck steamed then finished on the grill, a rib roast, and tri tip]. It has been a tremendous success every time, and no matter how much I hope for them we’ve never had leftovers. Which is why I’m going to use this recipe a third time this weekend: this time it’s just for my husband and I to savor without having to share.
It’s hard to find a recipe that everyone enjoys, but this has easily hit that mark. If anyone is apprehensive about giving it a try, don’t doubt: it’s absolutely worth it, and has converted multiple people into duck lovers.
[Bonus: I give my dad the carcasses and he uses them to make congee.]
I’ve tried a couple different recipes for duck in the past few months so had to try this one, even though it appeared way too simple. I bought the duck a few days ago and let it sit naked in the fridge to thaw and dry out a bit. Yesterday I went to my market and found that the only citrus they had was oranges (!) but bought a couple and put them in the cavity this morning. Into the oven at about 10am and forgot about until 5 or so. Stunning! I ate one thigh/leg and all stray crispy bits. Very good. I plan to do this more often!
Excellent! Guests loved it. I might salt the duck overnight like I do when I make confit de canard. Thanks Maggie!
Absolutely easiest best tasting roast duck!!!!!!!!!
Hello Maggie, just wanted to thank you for this lovely recipe. I tried it a couple of years ago I think and meant to comment, but never did, and here I am coming back and delighted to find it again as I’m hoping to make it for my mum this coming Mothering Sunday.
I can only source Gressingham ducks where I am in the UK and they are bred to have maximum flesh with much less fatty skin – sounds great, but not ideal for the skin-lovers and fans of super-slow cooking amongst us! Nevertheless, your recipe still produced the best duck I’ve ever made when I first used it, so however skinny the duck, it still works.
Thank you again for sharing this, and I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy during these crazy times.
Made this yesterday. OMG so easy and such a great taste. I cooked it at 225 for 6 hours, 275 for 1 hour and 500 for 15 min.
Hi, Maggie. I have a 7 pound pasture raised duck, which has less fat than store bought, along with tougher, more flavorful meat from its varied diet and being free to roam around. I’d like to try something other than braising the duck and your recipe sounds delicious! Do you think this recipe would work for pastured duck? Do you suggest any adjustments to time or temperature? Thank you.
Hi Joanne, I think the recipe will work for you. I’ve made this dish several times, and I did use less fatty ducks before (not pasture raised but still had a thinner skin) and it came out well. The recipe is rather forgiving. Since the duck contains less fat, the skin might crisp towards the end so you might need less time to brown the skin at a high temperature.
Absolutely amazing recipe. I too love duck, and believe this recipe is simple and gets amazing flavors and textures. Thank you very much for sharing!!
The skin was indeed amazing, but the meat quite dry, and the citrus a complete waste (I knew that, I have never found that stuffing the cavity a poultry with herbs or anything actually flavors the meat. It scents the air, but that’s it…). The skin scoring is a good tip that I’ll use again, thank you for teaching me that =) but next time I’ll either cook the duck in a dutch oven on low temperature, or cook it for a shorter time (4-5 hours) to keep some moisture in the meat.
Best method I’ve ever come across for cooking duck. The usual problem is either the legs are done and the breast is dry or the breast is good but the legs are raw. I’ve seen recipes that get you to cut the bird up and cook separately but this is way better. The legs come off like confit and the breast is cooked through but tender, a meat you can pull apart. You also actually get the wings which normally get pretty much incinerated with other methods. I’m really surprised this method doesn’t show up everywhere as the way to cook a duck. Thank you for sharing it.
This was brilliant. Restaurant quality but super easy. I used two navel oranges and one lemon to cut the sweetness. At the end I drained off the fat but added the remaining drippings to the sauce. It added an extra boost to the sauce without the sweetness of just using the jam. After 7 hours at 110 degrees Centigrade with a 10 minute finish at 200 degrees it was still moist and tender with great crisp skin. Thanks for this recipe. Gives me a new appreciation for duck.
I loved getting a tender duck with very crispy skin and not needing to fiddle around flipping it etc. I did leave it 3 days on a rack in the fridge to dry the skin out more , dried with paper towel and sprinkled on Chinese 5 spice, garlic powder and salt. It was a 1.9kg duckling so cooked it at 120C for 5 hours then at 260C till really crispy. Didn’t need sauce. Perfect as is.
Should I bring the duck to room temperature before cooking?
I don’t think you need it (although you can). The cooking temperature is so low that it will naturally bring back the temperature of a refrigerated duck.
We made this last night, it was amazing. No duck fat all over the place! It smelled amazing! It tasted amazing! There were NO leftovers (except the duck fat which is already being used for other things).
Thank you so much.
Made this yesterday to celebrate a birthday. It turned out fantastic: crispy and full of flavor. It was stuffed with lemons, limes, and an orange. For jam I used plum sauce, pan drippings, and followed the recipe. Excellent over a bed of white rice.
Thanks again Chef Zhu!
Dear Maggie, thank you for the recipe. I plan on doing it for Xmas. Do you think it will go well with the e original bitter orange sauce from the canard a lorange classic recipe? If so, any suggestions for side dishes?
Yeah I think it will go well with a bitter orange sauce.
For side dishes, you could check out:
Or you can do a really simple green salad with vinaigrette dressing.
We love duck and usually go through a long, involved process of brining and drying before roasting. This was simple and delicious! Thank you so much.
As I have mentioned, my wife grew up in Beijing and occasionally she talks about a dish called Eight Treasure Duck. I’ve looked it up online, and from what I can tell there are main two variants: with the bone and boned. And the stuffing is a widely varied as you would find for an American Thanksgiving dinner. So my question is this: can you I use your duck recipe, but replace the stuffing with an “Eight Treasure” stuffing, and if so, can you recommend an Eight Treasure stuffing recipe to use? Any other changes you would make?
Thank you so much!
I do have a sticky rice and Chinese sausage stuffing that I think might be perfect for this purpose: https://omnivorescookbook.com/sticky-rice-stuffing/
The only thing I’m not sure is, if the stuffing will keep the meat as moist as the citrus does. I think the juice and acid from the citrus also serves as a tenderizer, which makes the meat extra tender after such a long roasting time. The other thing I’m not sure is, how to prepare the stuffing (you probably want to under cook it), so it’s not overly soggy and greasy after roasting.
I wish I have a better answer but I cannot promise a good result without testing the method. I’m gonna read up more on the eight treasure duck and maybe do some experiments.
Thanks Maggie. I think you are making the right call on undercooking the rice. Right now my plan is to follow your Duck de Marietta recipe, but use the Eight Treasure stuffing described here, which also calls to undercook the rice:
I have a few days before I give this a try, so let me know if you have an suggestions…and wish me luck!!!!
This looks so good, and I am making it for Christmas this year. I wanted to know how far in advance you can make the fruit sauce?
You can make the sauce 1 to 2 days prior serving day. It might become a bit thicker after storing in the fridge but you can bring it back by heating it gently and stir in some water if needed.
Hi Maggie, we are making for Christmas dinner. What do you think about cooking the duck spatchcock style?
I’m in the middle of cooking this and would have loved to have a target meat temp for my probe. Are we going for chicken temp eg out at 155 beast meat? I’m a avid cook – by temperature is so important for meat moisture.
Won’t be doing this again, at least with the maple leaf farms duck anyway. Probe got up to 180 in the breast. Way way too high to be edible. I made a fantastic sauce that made the breast meat sort of edible but I’m sticking with duck confit. 😉
Cooked this for myself for Xmas dinner. I’m just an old guy, not much of a cook but this was a breeze to make.
And “fall of the bone” is a gross understatement — it’s like bone and meat hated each other and couldn’t wait to part company!
I did it in a small roasting pan and the only thing I’d change would be to pull off the lid for the last bit to crisp up the skin a little.
Oh and, in the same way I’ve done other duck recipes over the years, I covered the bottom of the pan with vegetables (in this case, it was thick slices of sweet potato); it guarantees the duck won’t stick to the bottom of the pan. They cooked in the juices of the duck and were great.
So happy to hear you enjoyed the dish! The description is spot on! Maybe I should quote you in the blog post 🙂
I’ve made this twice… a Maple Farms duck at Thanksgiving, and a Kirkwood duck today. They were both delicious, and so easy! I had never cooked a duck before, so I’m very happy to have stumbled upon this recipe. Thank you so much!!
This recipe looks amazing, and so simple! While reading your post I was curious to see the Chicken à la Benson recipe too, but I can’t seem to find the page on your site for some reason? (https://omnivorescookbook.com/chicken-a-la-benson isn’t working for me)
The recipe is not on the site anymore. Every year I clear up recipes that fewer people cook. Sorry about that!
Super-easy with spectacular results! This is my go-to recipe for duck, and guests and family are so impressed. Thank you!
My favorite recipe for duck
This recipe is amazing. I was quite scared to cook a duck, to be honest, having never done it before, but this recipe is very forgiving. Entire family enjoyed it tonight. Thank you from all of us.
Absolutely amazing. I did 90°C for 8 hours, then 15 mins at 180°C. It came out perfect.
This turned out to be the most delicious and the tenderest duck I’ve ever cooked. Loved it! And it was easy too.
Hi, Can I do this on a bbq grill? Same temp…?
I think you definitely can!
Looking forward to making this for Thanksgiving 2021! I salt the duck and air them in the fridge for 24 hours prior, but can I also put the citrus fruit in the duck as well? Or should I wait until time to roast?
I think you totally can and I think either way will work.
Best duck I’ve ever had including restaurants! Caveat: I put mine on the weber grill since that’s what I do. Skin was so crispy I could’ve peeled and eaten just that. Very juicy, minimal greasy fat that usually is all over everything. Zero fuss! Other than me wanting to look at it.
I love this duck recipe and it is so easy to make, elegant and delicious. I’ve already make it twice, and will be making two ducks for Thanksgiving.
I used to make the amazing five hour duck but this one is even better! I slightly adjusted based on what I had and our preferences and it was perfect!
I did dry brine the duck for a day, used only a couple regular oranges for the cavity, and added a few green onions and some ginger. I finished the cooking with an Asian glaze (soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, marmalade, sweet Chinese cooking wine, hoisin sauce) that I brushed on the duck twice during the last hour. I kept the leftover glaze to mix with my oven roasted Brussels sprouts from one of your other recipes instead of making a separate sweet sauce. I served the duck with the Brussels sprouts, oven fried sweet potatoes, and fried rice (rice eggs, green onions). It was so good my husband and I almost cleaned the whole duck.
Great recipe, works just as advised. We chopped up the citrus fruits from inside the duck, used some wine to remove the roux from the pan the duck cooked in, added the fruits and boiled it down. Sieved this to make a superb sauce for the duck
THIS the slow roast duck recipe that I come back to again and again~
This is my goto duck recipe. Do you think it would work with goose?
Yes I tried it before and really liked it. I documented the recipe here: https://omnivorescookbook.com/slow-roast-goose-black-currant-sauce/
This is my favorite holiday duck recipe! The meat is tender, the skin is crispy, and it really takes very little prep or special skills.
Incredible! Have been making this for a few years now and it never fails
This sounds delicious! I love duck but have never cooked it myself. Do you think this could be done in the slow cooker, and then transferred to the oven later to brown up?
I was on the search for a duck recipe to pair with two nice bottles of Pinot noir and came across your dish. This was perfect. The stewing fruits in the cavity not only kept the dish moist but gave the duck a hint of sweet citrusy note that complimented the natural game of the duck.
Slow roasting resulted in fall of the bone, moist and tender meat with a crispy skin.
Thanks for sharing!
This is my favorite roast duck recipe. The best.
Hi Maggie, this recipe is SUPERB! I made it last year, & my husband ate about 1/2 the duck himself! I’m making it this year for our Thanksgiving feast for just the two of us. I can’t praise it enough, your instructions are perfect. I urge everyone who loves roast duck—and who doesn’t— TRY this, you will love it! Thank you so much for sharing this. P.S. I live in Ohio & know Marietta. I’m wondering if this came from the lovely Lafayette Hotel? You don’t have to say, just guessing! Best regards, and again, thank you so much!
Maggie, we’re looking forward to trying this. Have you had any experience with cooking the duck on the grill over indirect heat? We can control the temp pretty effectively. Looked through a lot of the comments but didn’t see any reference to it. Thanks!
I have never tried it but I can’t see why you can’t as long as the temperature is kept low. My only concern is the duck might fall apart when you try to turn it on the grill, because it will get very tender towards the end.
This is my ONLY roast duck recipe. It’s the BEST! It’s one of our festive favorites. Fall off the bone tender with crunchy skin and crust. Rendered duck fat for roasting potatoes and other savory delights.
Quite enjoyed it this way. Juicy and flavorful.
I really want to try this but due to bird flu here in France I can’t get a duck! Do you think the recipe would work for a capon?
I think this recipe might work: http://omnivorescookbook.com/cantonese-roast-chicken
This duck was delicious- but it took 11 hours at 250°F in my electric roaster. Next time, I will set it up to cook overnight.
Hi Maggie, I am hoping to cook the duck this weekend and wanted to ask if your temperature instructions are meant for a fan assisted oven or traditional.
The recipe uses a traditional oven. Happy cooking!
according to my duck loving husband: ” best duck ever!”
I have never roasted duck without a smoke alarm going off unless there is plenty of water in the bottom of the pan. Do you recommend this?
This once is a slow roast recipe, so I don’t think putting water in the bottom of the pan is needed.
Hey Maggie! Question for you- I’m trying to find a balance somehow of a whole roasted duck that’s not well done but also has a crisp skin. I figured i’d give yours a try. On a whim, I checked the temperature of the breast about 3 hrs in and it was already 165 F! Is the idea that the meat will be cooked through but the slow process and rendering will mean the meat is well done but still moist? I’m a duck lover but this is only the third one i’ve roasted so still learning. Thanks!
This recipe cooks the duck for a very long time to render off the fat from the skin and produce a tender result. It does cook through the meat, but the fat from the skin and the citrus inside will prevent the meat from drying out. The meat part is definitely not like the pan fried duck, where to barely cook it through or leave it medium rare. I’ve never measure the temperature during roasting so I cannot say for sure, but I won’t be surprised if the duck meat has reached the 165 F early on.
Love duck. Always went to restaurant for our duck. They served it cherry sauce. I said to my husband have to get recipe for this cherry sauce. Guess what it was Comstoc cherry pie filling. Now I make duck with cherry sauce.