Roasting a Duck

Planning to roast a duck tomorrow for the first time in years. It’s a “Rohan” duck from D’Artagnan in USA, some hybrid of heritage duck varieties and about 5.5lbs ( 2.5kg). The D’Artagnan website offers a straightaway roast recipe:

I looked in Barbara Kafka’s book “Roasting,” and she recommends an initial poaching, then roasting. For some reason, I cannot locate my copy of Paula Wolfert’s “Cooking of Southwest France” (I adore Wolfert). I’m confident that things will come out well, but if you have some go-to advice about duck roasting, I’d be grateful to hear it.

I’ve had this recipe saved for a while - it’s a long and low roast to render the fat and yield crisp skin.

I forget who recommended it, but I copied it over because of high praise from someone who used it repeatedly.

(Save the fat for duck fat roast potatoes!)

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Good on you. Duck fat and potatoes are an All-time duet. (We miss Chicago’s departed Hot Doug’s duck fries.)

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I’m a big fan of her books - just haven’t made the Duck. I’m assuming the rest is to allow the skin to dry out after the poach so you get a nice crisp skin.

Lol. Sorry read on phone without my readers - totally missed the punctuation.


I have never had a bad result roasting a duck. If it’s wrapped, unwrap it and place it on a rack over a plate in the refrigerator overnight … poke/pierce the skin all over, I use a fork with sharp tines. Hot oven and then drop in back when you put duck in low and slow, frequently emptying the fat from the pan, breast side down first then flip. Danish step mother taught me how to roast a duck, it’s great with traditional apple, prune and onion stuffing imparts great flavor to the interior. Can cover lightly with aluminum foil if browning too quickly. I’ve cooked them this way and reheated the whole duck the next day, and it was crispy and fabulous.


I agree, you can even cook the duck halfway refrigerate overnight and cook the rest of the way the next day … excellent results

There was something in Chowhound some years ago about loosening all the skin first, as with a turkey. IIRC, this was instead of scoring the skin but it was unclear if and where any punctures were made to allow the fat to drain out. Or maybe it was roasted vertically.

Following vicariously. Gluten free!

Hard to go wrong. What ever I do, if not too heavily seasoned, I try to save the skin, bones, and fat.

How I roast mine:

  • Prick the skin all over with a small metal skewer (or whatever is suitable)
  • Pour boiling water over the bird. Pat dry with kitchen paper.
  • Seal cavity with skewers or butcher’s twine.
  • Transfer to fridge and let dry overnight uncovered. (if using spice rub or marinade keep basting repeatedly). Cold and dry keeps the skin crispy.
  • Roast in oven for 30mins (cover tightly to seal in the steam).
  • Uncover after 30mins and roast until done. Baste repeatedly with glaze/marinate if using. I turn the bird over a couple of times.

I got 5 meals out of this skinny duck (not bred for “Peking duck”). I like to baste my duck with a glaze of tamari, ketcap mannis and liquid smoke.

Last meal from the same duck: no more meat, just the last of the rich duck broth.

Crispy Speck alongside