Tender Roasted Duck Recipe

This tender and juicy roasted duck recipe will make your guests happy and have them coming back for more!

The goal for this recipe isn’t crispy skin; it is to make the most tender meat possible. With plenty of wintery herbs like cinnamon and star anise, this roast duck is an excellent option for a special holiday treat.

I must admit, only men in my family cooked ducks. They are the duck hunters. The first time I bought a duck from the market was for this recipe because our hunting season doesn’t start until December. Just in time for Christmas! With this straightforward recipe, you will have a delicious, tender duck for the holidays in no time.


1 whole 6 lb duck

½ onion (chopped)

2 carrots (peeled and chopped)

2 celery sticks (chopped)

1 orange (peeled and cut into chunks)

1 ½ cup water

3 star anise

5 whole cloves

Brine (8 cups cold water, ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar, ½ cup sugar, ½ cup kosher salt, 2 cinnamon sticks, 3-star anise, 1 teaspoon of black pepper cone, about 8 of them, 5 bay leaves, Peels of 2 oranges plus ½ fresh orange juice, 2 tablespoon soy sauce)

Marinade (1 tablespoon minced ginger, 2 tablespoons minced garlic, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper — you could use black pepper, 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, ¼ cup orange juice, 2 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 tablespoon olive oil)


Duck Drippings

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

Broth to desired consistency

Salt and Pepper for seasoning

Directions: Here’s how you can do it

Step 1: Prepare the duck for the brine by washing and thoroughly drying it. Remove the giblets and set them aside.

Step 2: Mix all the brine ingredients in a large bowl, submerge the cleaned duck underneath the water, and add a heavy plate to prevent the duck from floating. Wrap, and keep in the fridge overnight.

Step 3: Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Prepare the baking dish with a flat rack. Add a cup and half of water to the bottom, then add the star anise and clove. Place the duck on the rack. Working in batches, add the marinated inside and outside the duck.

Step 4: Add the chopped celery, onion, carrots, and oranges to the duck’s cavity and close it with wooden skewers. Cover with parchment paper first, then foil. Cook for about 2 hours until the temperature reads 130F.

Step 5: Uncover, and baste the duck from its drippings. Remove the duck from the oven when the temperature reaches 135F. Let it rest and cover it for 20 minutes before start carving.

Step 6: To make the gravy, strain the drippings into a cup. Make a roux by melting the butter and then adding the flour. Whisk until you have a tick paste. Add the broth while whisking constantly. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Step 7: Now that you have a delicious, tender roast duck for the centerpiece of your holiday dinner, feel free to dig in! Store your leftovers in a container in the fridge for up to four days.

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