Roast Duck

Yield: 4 servings

Try this with a side of Brussels sprouts with caramelized leeks.


  • Duck
    • 1 frozen duck (5-6 lbs.), thawed
    • 5-6 tbsp salt
  • Cherry Wine Sauce
    • 1000ml dry red wine
    • 500ml chicken stock
    • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 tsp thyme
    • 7-8 bay leaves
    • 2 1/2 cups frozen unsweetened dark cherries, thawed
    • 2 packages (42g each) turkey demi-glace
    • 2 packets powdered gelatin, dissolved in 1/2 cup water
    • Pinch of salt


  1. If the duck cavity contains neck, giblets, etc. then remove them.  We won't be using them, though the neck is good for making stock.
  2. If there is excessive fat around the next and butt, trim it down.  Truss the legs together tightly to cross the legs.
  3. Trim the wings at the first joint -- there isn't much meat on them.  You can use them for stock if you'd like.
  4. Place the duck breast-side up on a wire rack in a baking sheet.  With a sharp knife, poke the skin many times over the breast and thighs.  This will create paths for the fat to render out of the duck while it roasts.
  5. Season generously with salt.  Dry brine in the refrigerator for 60-90 minutes.
  6. In a large stock pot, bring water to a boil.  Gently lower the duck into the water and boil for 15 minutes.  Remove from the water and return to the wire rack.
  7. Roast at 450°F for 45 minutes.  Lower the temperature to 300°F and continue cooking for 30-60 minutes.  The temperature should reach 165°F.
  8. While the duck is roasting, prepare the wine sauce by combining the wine, chicken stock, shallot, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and cherries in a saucepan.  Place over medium-high heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced about 80% (20-25 minutes).
  9. Strain the sauce in a fine mesh to remove the solids, pressing well to get as much liquid out as possible.
  10. Add the demi-glace and the gelatin/water.  Return to the stove and simmer to reduce for about 5 minutes until the sauce leaves a thick coating on the back of a spoon.  Add a strong pinch of salt.
  11. To carve the duck, cut the breast meat and the thighs off the bird.  Coarsely chop into large chunks.  Plate up the duck with side dishes and drizzle with the wine sauce.

Adapted from Brian Lagerstrom.