Delicious roasted whole duck, crispy skin and a rich duck-flavoured gravy made from the giblets… this Easy Peasy Roast Duck and Duck Gravy recipe is a great alternative to your usual Sunday roast… or why not try roast duck instead of roast turkey on Christmas day?
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Easy Peasy Roast Duck…
Roast duck is one of my favourite meats… it’s packed full of flavour, yet very easy to cook and surprisingly economical too. It makes the perfect Sunday roast!
It really is very simple to cook… all you have to do is prick the skin with a fork, rub in some salt and pepper, then roast in a hot oven until the duck is just cooked and the skin is nice and crispy.
…and Easy Peasy Duck Gravy
Make sure you get a duck with giblets and you can make the most fantastic duck-giblet gravy!
Simply place the giblets in a pan with some water, celery, carrots, onions, herbs and peppercorns and simmer to make a delicious duck stock, then strain.
Meanwhile, mix together some cornflour, a chicken stock cube and a little cold water. Add the stock to the cornflour mixture and then tip the whole lot into the roast duck tray (after you’ve taken the duck out and while the duck is resting!)
Stir to ensure all that roasted duck goodness comes out of the tray and goes into the gravy. Finally tip the gravy into a pan, bring to the boil and simmer until it reaches your preferred consistency.
An alternative to turkey at Christmas
Roast duck always has a special place in my heart as it was what we always had for Christmas dinner when I was a child… and, even now, the smell of a whole duck roasting in the oven always has the power to evoke wonderful memories of childhood Christmases!
But actually, my parents were really onto something… Roast duck makes an excellent alternative to roast turkey if you are feeding a small crowd… a 2kg roast duck is just perfect for a family of 4-6 (depending on appetite)… It’s much easier and much quicker to cook than roast turkey AND it’s considerably cheaper too!
Create duck fat for duck fat roast potatoes!
And one of the best things about roasting a whole duck is it creates lots of duck fat… perfect for creating duck fat roast potatoes!
What I do is after about 30 minutes cooking time, I remove the duck from the oven and carefully pour the duck fat that has collected in the roasting tin into a different roasting tin. I put the duck back into the oven and tip my par-boiled potatoes into the new fat-filled roasting tin, then put that tin into the oven too. The roasties should be cooked to perfection by the time you’ve rested and carved your duck… and if you’ve never tried duck fat roast potatoes, you really need to – you are in for a real treat. (I am talking NEXT LEVEL roast potatoes!)
Use a fat separator jug for your gravy…
One of the downsides to duck is that, even after pouring off most of the fat for your roasties, there is still quite a bit of fat that ends up in the duck roasting tin after you’ve finished roasting the duck… If you make gravy from the meat juices, inevitably you’ll get quite a bit of fat in your gravy too…
To avoid this, you *could* spend several minutes carefully and laboriously spooning out the fat from the oven tray before tipping in the duck giblet stock / cornflour mix (and inevitably you’ll lose some of the juices too!) OR you could simply use a handy dandy fat separator jug!
I use this fab fat separator jug from OXO and it makes my life so much easier…
No need to laboriously separate the fat from the meat juices before making the gravy… I just make the gravy with the fat too and then tip it into this fab little jug and leave to stand for a few minutes. As if by magic the fat separates and floats to the top… leaving me with nothing but delicious duck-flavoured gravy at the bottom. The spout is cleverly located at the bottom, allowing you to pour out the gravy, while leaving the fat in the jug.
Better still this fat separator jug comes with a little strainer which you can pop on the top before pouring in the gravy from the saucepan… resulting in lovely smooth gravy!
You can either serve the gravy in the fat-separator jug (I do this if I’m just cooking for the family) OR, once the fat has separated, carefully pour the gravy into an attractive serving jug / gravy boat (I do this if we have guests!)
What to serve with roast duck?
The best partners for roast duck are, without a doubt, duck giblet gravy and duck fat roast potatoes!
After that, simply add your favourite vegetable side dishes… I love roast duck served with roast carrots and parsnips, roasted sprouts and cauliflower cheese!
As for sauces, roast duck goes very well with bread sauce, apple sauce… or even cranberry sauce!
What to drink with roast duck?
The best match for roast duck has to be Pinot Noir! This wonderful combination is always a winner. I would go for a Red Burgundy (especially if this is a special meal like Christmas dinner), or a Pinot Noir from New Zealand, Oregon or California.
Other good options include a Cru Beaujolais, such as Morgon or Fleurie, or an Italian red like Barolo or Chianti.
What to do with leftover roast duck?
Given that whole ducks are small, and that roast duck is utterly delicious, I doubt you will have any leftovers, but on the off-chance that you do, leftover roast duck would work well in place of the turkey in this delicious Leftover Turkey Pie or this lovely Easy Leftover Turkey Curry!
Can you freeze roast duck?
Absolutely! Roast duck freezes very well. Simply place your cooked and carved duck in a lidded container and place into the freezer, where it should keep well for up to 3 months.
Defrost overnight in the fridge and then either eat cold, or reheat until piping hot all the way through.
If you like this recipe…
…you might also like:
Easy Peasy Roast Duck and Duck Gravy
Easy Peasy Roast Duck
- 1 whole duck approx. 2kg / 4½lb
- Salt and pepper to taste
Easy Duck Giblet Gravy
- Duck giblets (usually found inside the duck in a plastic packet!)
- 1 onion peeled and quartered
- 2 carrots skin on, roughly chopped
- 2 sticks celery roughly chopped
- 1 handful parsley roughly chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 peppercorns
- 500 ml cold water
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 1 chicken stock cube
Easy Peasy Roast Duck
- Preheat your oven to 220C / 200C fan / gas mark 7 / 425F.
- Remove the pack of duck giblets from the duck and place the whole duck onto a rack in a roasting tin. Prick the duck skin all over with a fork and scatter over a little salt and pepper.
- Place the duck into your preheated oven and roast for 1 hour 10 minutes. (Or until cooked to your liking.)
- Rest for 15 minutes, then carve and serve. (Don’t cover while resting or the skin will lose its crispiness!)
Easy Duck Giblet Gravy
- Remove the duck giblets from the packet and place in a medium saucepan.
- Add the onions, carrots, celery, parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns and cold water.
- Bring to the boil, then turn down very low, cover with a lid, and simmer for 1 hour. Strain into a clean saucepan. (I use a sieve to do this.)
- In a jug, mix together the cornflour, chicken stock cube and a little water to make a paste. Add the strained stock and stir.
- When the duck has come out of the oven and is resting, pour the stock / cornflour mix into the empty duck roasting tray and stir to combine the duck gravy with all the duck juices and duck fat.
- Tip this mixture back into the saucepan, bring to the boil and then simmer until it reaches your preferred consistency. (If it is too thick for you, thin with a little boiling hot water from the kettle.)
- Pour the gravy into a fat separator jug and leave to stand for 5 minutes then either serve the gravy in the fat separator jug or pour the gravy into a nice serving jug / gravy boat, taking care to leave the fat in the fat separator jug. (See Note 1.)
- If you do not have a fat separator jug, you have 2 choices. Either skim off the fat in the roasting tray first before pouring in the stock/cornflour mix OR just accept the fact that your gravy will be a little fatty!
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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I love duck. But I’ve never roasted duck. If any, I usually grilled it after I cook the duck in spices. So, your recipe will be a good addition to my cooking trial repertoire. I bookmark this for me to try. Thank you for sharing.
Eb Gargano says
Oh if you have never tried roasted duck, you really need to – it’s so good! Eb 🙂
Corina Blum says
This looks delious Eb! It reminds me of my childhood too as I grew up on a farm with ducks and geese. We always had a goose on Christmas day but would have duck around Christmas too! Unfortunately my husband doesn’t like the idea of eating duck!
Eb Gargano says
Aw, thanks Corina! What a shame your husband does not like eating duck… hope you still manage to sneak some in when he’s out! 😀
Oh hubba hubba, I don’t think you can beat a whole roast duck. The problem is I can easily eat a whole one to myself!
Eb Gargano says
Thanks Chloe. They are pretty awesome, aren’t they? Eb 🙂
Ginger Brown says
This is prob the worst time to ask this question lol. But my hubby and I are making our first Thanksgiving dinner while camping outside and we have always wanted to have duck. Our camp oven only goes as hot as 400😳 and your recipe says to put it to 425. Should we just keep it in longer like an extra half hour inside our camp oven? Any suggestions. Thank you!
Eb Gargano says
Oh I love that you are planning to do roast duck while camping! Duck should be fine at 400. You may only need an extra 15 minutes… I would check it after 1h25 and see if it’s done to your liking. If not, you can pop it back in for a bit longer. Let me know how it goes – and happy Thanksgiving!
Sacha Nelson says
Thanks for the recipe. If you don’t have a fat separator, you can use a disposable plastic bag. After allowing the fat to rise to the top of the liquid in the bag, cut a small hole in the bottom and drain out the water-soluble phase. You can either dispose of the fat or drain it into another container for later use.
Eb Gargano says
Great idea – thanks for the tip!