Citrus-thyme roasted duck

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10 min


2 to 4 servings

* PLUS Roasting Time: 240 minutes


  • 2.5 kg whole duck
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1/2 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup jalapeno or red currant jelly , or orange marmalade


  • If duck is frozen, thaw overnight in its original wrapping in a large bowl in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 425F (220C). Remove neck and gizzard from duck. Trim off fatty skin flaps around cavity. Rinse duck well, then pat dry with paper towels. Prick skin in many places with a fork to release fat. Slice 1 orange in half. Set aside other orange for sauce. Squeeze juice into a small measuring cup. It should measure about 1/3 cup (75 mL). Save squeezed-out hollow shells.
  • Pour half of juice into cavity of duck, tilting duck upward so juice does not spill out. Stuff in one of orange shells, then thyme. Pour remaining juice into cavity, again tilting duck upward. Stuff with remaining orange shell. Sprinkle entire outside of duck with 2 teaspoons (10 mL) salt. Place duck, breast-side down, on a rack in a medium-size roasting pan with shallow sides. Fold skin flap over to cover neck cavity. Roast, uncovered, in centre of preheated 425F (220C) oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove roasting pan from oven to drain off fat. Lift duck to a large platter. Then pour out fat, holding rack in place. (You can use some of this fat to coat cubes of squash, then place on a baking sheet and roast on rack beneath duck.) Place duck, breast-side up, on rack. To prevent brown bits in pan bottom from burning, pour 1/2 cup (125 mL) water into pan. Return duck to oven. Continue roasting, uncovered, for 30 minutes. If brown bits at sides of roasting pan are starting to burn, stir in an additional 1/4 cup (50 mL) water, scraping down sides of pan with a wooden spoon. Then reduce temperature to 375F (190C) and continue roasting, uncovered, from 20 to 30 more minutes. To test for doneness, prick one duck leg with a fork. Juices should run clear.
  • Meanwhile, finely grate peel from remaining orange and squeeze out juice. Place cooked duck on a platter. Remove rack from pan. Skim off excess fat from pan juices, leaving dark juices in pan. Add orange juice, peel and wine. If roasting pan is heavy-bottomed, set over 2 stove elements. Or pour pan juices into a large saucepan, scraping up and including any bits from bottom of pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly and scraping up brown bits from pan bottom. Pour in duck juices accumulated on platter. Boil, uncovered and stirring often, until liquid is reduced by about half, from 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in jelly until melted. If using marmalade, stir in 2 tablespoons (30 mL) until melted, then taste and stir in remaining marmalade if you would like to increase orange flavour. Add salt and pepper to taste. Carve duck. Serve with sauce ladled overtop.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 858,
  • Protein
  • 41.7 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 20.2 g,
  • Fat
  • 64.7 g,
  • Fibre
  • 0.8 g,
  • Sodium
  • 1285 mg.

A delicious impressive alternative to Thanksgiving turkey, roast duck has dark juicy meat packed with a rich sumptuous flavour. Our recipe adds hints of tangy orange and earthy thyme to the duck and sauce.