Duck Recipes

Duck is a delicacy all over the world. However, American cooks are not as well-versed in gourmet duck recipes.

The two most popular recipes for duck are Roast Duck and Peking-Style Duck. These wild duck recipes are surprisingly easy, as are duck breast recipes.

Roast Duck


  • a dressed store-bought or wild duck, 5-6 lbs
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • coarse sea salt (to taste)
  • freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • onion, orange, apple, celery and carrot (to taste, optional).


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425?F. Wash the duck well and pull off any extra fat around the body or neck areas. Prick the skin (but not the flesh of the duck). This allows the layer of fat under the skin to “”melt”” off during roasting.
  2. Place the duck in the roasting pan. The breast should face upward. Pour two cups of boiling water over the duck to ensure a crispy finish. Allow the duck to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and grind fresh pepper. If you like, you can also loosely stuff the duck with any of the following prior to roasting: onion, orange, apple, celery and carrot. Be sure to take these items out after the bird is cooked and discard them.
  4. Roast the duck uncovered for approximately two hours and 15 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, turn the duck over after one hour. Be careful of any hot liquid that may be in the body cavity.
  5. Turn the duck over again after 45 minutes. Continue to roast until the skin is beautifully browned and crisp for approximately 30 more minutes.
  6. The duck is ready when a meat thermometer inserted at the thickest part of the breast reads 180oF or the bird”s joints move easily.
  7. Place the duck on a carving board and allow it to rest, covered loosely with a damp cloth, for 10-20 minutes.

Roast duck can be served with a wide variety of side dishes, including:

  • baked apples
  • corn on the cob
  • red potatoes
  • roasted zucchini
  • stuffing
  • wild rice.

Peking Duck

This Peking duck variation uses the above recipe, with one change: In Step Two, add 1/4 cup honey to the boiling water prior to pouring it over the raw duck. While the duck is roasting, put together this Chinese-style sauce:

Peking Duck Sauce

Ingredients (In addition to the Roast Duck recipe.)

  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup honey (see above).


  1. Combine the hoisin sauce, brown sugar and sesame oil together in a small sauce pan.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour, then bring to room temperature before serving with the finished, sliced duck.

Hoisin sauce and sesame oil can be found in the Asian section of your supermarket, or at a specialty or gourmet grocer. This recipe should be served with simple Asian rice and some steamed vegetables.

Duck Breasts


  • 4 boneless, skinless duck breasts
  • 6 oz Italian dressing
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  • freshly ground powder.


  1. Set the breasts to soak in salt water overnight.
  2. Mix all ingredients above to create a marinating sauce. Marinate duck breasts in the morning in a Ziploc bag. Place the breasts in refrigerator all day.
  3. Start up your barbeque. Cook the duck breasts (watch carefully and don”t overcook!) and serve with some corn on the cob, wild rice, mashed potatoes or other side dish.
  4. For variations, try lemon or lime juice in the marinade. You can also experiment by wrapping the duck breasts in either prosciutto or bacon and securing it with wooden toothpicks before throwing them on the grill.

Resources (2006). Roast duck. Retrieved November 13, 2006 from the Backwoods Bound Web site: (2006). Dave”s famous charcoal marinated duck breasts. Retrieved November 13, 2006 from the Cook Web site:,1726,155188-245203,00.html. (2006). Crisp roast duck. Retrieved November 13, 2006 from the Epicurious Web site:

Grunes, Barbara (2002). Williams-Sonoma Roasting. Weldon Owen, New York, 2002.