This roast duck recipe glazed and baked in the oven is so good. Tender meat with crispy skin that’s a perfect main dish for Christmas or any holiday. We will show you how to cook a whole duck right here.
Ever wondered how hard roasted duck would be to make on your own? It really isn’t. Yes it took me quite a while to think I could tackle it too but at the end of the day it didn’t take long. We will show you how to cook it defrosted or frozen duck fork tender + the skin gets crispy too. (affiliate links present)
How to Cook Duck
Ok so you’re new to this bird. You are totally comfortable cooking a whole chicken in the oven but would this work the same way? Kinda’.
There isn’t a huge difference other than the seasonings and glaze at the end. Now you could skip the brown sugar sauce all together but OMG is it good!
If you just wanted it purely savory you can just follow the first few steps and not make the glaze, it is still incredibly delicious as is without it. You can find sugar free substitutes as well if needed. You’re going to want a casserole dish and some foil to get going on this. There will be juices so something rimmed is needed.
Crispy Roasted Duck
This is typically what you’re whole duck is going to look like. You do need to ensure that it is fresh or defrosted. We haven’t made a roasted frozen duck as of yet and timing would be different for sure. You wouldn’t be able to crisp the skin at the beginning either, you’d have to wait until the end.
If and when we ever attempt this method I will link the instructions to that right here for you too. The question of whether or not to rinse your bird varies. I typically do just a tad before drying the outside skin well with paper towels.
Whole Duck Recipe
The reason why you really want to absorb all that moisture from the outside is so you can get really crispy duck skin! I mean nobody wants rubbery yuck in your bite. Typically I don’t eat the outside myself but even looking at it isn’t appetizing unless you get some type of crunch out of it.
There are a few ways to do this. Peking gets it this way by deep frying it, after baking in the oven to temp. you can set to broil to crisp outside more, or sear outside before baking in a skillet.
Always make sure the bird is defrosted and skin is dried well in any of these cases for best results.
There are two steps to get the protein inside super moist AND golden browned to perfection. You will need to cover the top so it can steam after it’s crispy. You could do it the opposite way too if you’d rather. Basically you need 60 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered to get the perfect result overall.
- 1 duck
- A pinch of salt and pepper if you like
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
- Oregano and thyme
- Butter softened
Duck Glaze Recipe
- Soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Brown sugar, or Splenda sugar free alternative
- Cornstarch used as a thickener
- Some apple cider vinegar
- Chicken broth
Use a roasting pan or casserole dish works too just fine if that is all you have. Don’t worry if you are a new home cook and trying this for the first time, we’ll walk you thru this. 😉
How to Roast Duck in the Oven
Ok so I have a recipe card at the bottom of this post for you but I will go over it quickly for you here too. If you want to throw all the things together so dinner is ready at the same time you could prep some side dishes too. Our roasted pesto potatoes or bake brussel sprouts and cauliflower are always a hit.
- In a small bowl, mix your softened butter, salt, spices, herbs together into a butter paste. Rinse and dry the duck with paper towels, put on foil.
- remove anything from duck cavity if there is anything, discard
- With a sharp knife score the duck skin on top 3 times on each breast
- you can skip scoring the skin but it will get crispier if the juices are allowed to be released
- Spread butter on all sides with any additional salt and spices.
- Cover with foil and leave for an hour. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Unwrap duck and breast side up place in a casserole dish.
- For the first 30 minutes, bake the duck without foil, then cover dish with foil and bake for another 60 minutes at 360 F.
- While this is baking, make the glaze. Mix everything except cornstarch in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Whisk starch in 2 tbsp of cold water until smooth and pour into a saucepan.
- Once the glaze has thickened, remove the saucepan.
- Pierce the breast with a wooden skewer. If transparent fat flows, and temp reaches 165 in middle of thigh and breast, it is ready.
- FDA recommends if you want medium rare to ensure it at least reaches internal meat temperature of 135 F.
- Test thick part of duck legs and breast for an accurate read.
Allow it to rest for 15 minutes before slicing to keep the juices within. Pour glaze over the top and serve. With the liquid duck fat on the bottom you could create your own gravy too.
How do you store leftover duck
Only slice what you are going to eat, leave the rest whole to maintain moisture. Allow to cool and store in a freezer bag sealed shut without air inside. Store in fridge for up to 3 days. When you are ready to reheat it, slice what you want, pour saved leftover glaze over the top and microwave for 30 seconds.
Flip pieces over and heat again for 30 seconds. It should be warm enough now for you. It is important to add something to the top so keep your leftover sauce. You could spoon some broth or saved excess fat saved from the bottom of the pan over it instead too.
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
Roast Duck Recipe
- In a bowl, mix soft butter, salt, spices, herbs. Make a butter paste. Rinse and dry the duck with paper towels, put on foil. With a sharp knife score the skin on top 3 times on each breast. Spread butter on all sides salt and spices. If you want to put fresh rosemary and thyme on top do so now.
- Cover with foil and leave for an hour. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Unwrap duck and place in a casserole dish (breast side up). For the first half hour, bake the duck without foil, then cover dish with foil and bake for another hour at 360 F.
- While this is baking, make the glaze. Mix everything except cornstarch in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Whisk starch in 2 tbsp of cold water until smooth and pour into a saucepan. Once the glaze has thickened, remove the saucepan from the heat.
- The readiness of the duck can be checked like this – pierce the breast with a wooden skewer. If transparent fat flows, and temp reaches 165 in middle of thigh and breast, the duck is ready.
- Remove the fresh herbs from the top of the breast. Brush duck with glaze and serve warm.