Pic of Perfect roast duck

Perfect roast duck

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Meat mains

Perfect roast duck

Serves 6 2h 10 min
Roast duck should have succulent meat that’s full of natural flavour. The skin is rich and fatty which is why it is best to lightly prick the skin before roasting to allow some of the fat to render away. It helps the skin to become temptingly crisp. The fat that gathers in the roasting tray is the perfect medium to roast potatoes in too, so don’t let it go to waste.

Cook's notes

Make sure to work out the cooking time - allow 30 mins per kg plus 30 mins. If you'd like an extra crispy skin, try pouring a kettle of boiling water over the bird just before roasting.


  • 1 whole duck
  • sea salt
  • 1 tsp allspice (optional)
  • 1 orange, zested and halved (optional)
Image of Perfect roast duck


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 2h
  • Step 1

    Around 2-3 hours before cooking, put the duck in a roasting tray and lightly prick the skin over the breast, season generously with salt, and spices and orange zest if using, and return to the fridge. Make sure you remove the bag of giblets from the cavity (save to make a stock/gravy)
  • Step 2

    30 mins before cooking, remove the duck from the fridge. Put your oven on to preheat at 220°C/Gas 7.
  • Step 3

    Cover the duck with foil. Transfer to the oven and roast for 30 mins.
  • Step 4

    Remove the foil and baste with the whole bird with the fat from the bottom of the tray. Reduce the heat to 180°C/Gas 4. Return it to the oven and roast for 30 mins per kg, basting halfway through. Cover with foil again towards the end of cooking if the skin looks as though it may be starting to burn
  • Step 5

    To check the bird is cooked, insert a knife into the thickest part of the leg where it joins the breast. The juices should run clear. Leave to rest for 20 mins before carving.

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