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Roast duck

This is a great recipe for roasting a whole duck for crispy duck pancakes. I’ve had success roasting in advance and reheating the shredded duck in a foil parcel in the oven. Like my roast goose recipe, I used a baster and a v-shaped roasting rack for a more relaxing time.


  • Duck, ~2½ kg
  • Lemon, 1 large
  • Rosemary, handful
  • Bay leaves, 3
  • Five spice, 4 tbsp
  • Salt + pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 220℃.
  2. Take the duck and pat dry with kitchen roll then prick the skin all over with the tip of a skewer (or similar).
  3. Season the bird cavity and skin generously with the five spice and salt and pepper. Use your hands to ensure the rub gets into all the nooks and crannies.
  4. Place the lemon in the duck cavity followed by the rosemary and bay leaves.
  5. Take some butchers twine and tie the legs together at the “ankles”. I also like to tuck the parson’s nose up through the legs and pop a skewer through to keep it in place.
  6. Place a roasting rack in a deep roasting tray. Take care to locate the duck on the roasting rack so that it fits neatly and isn’t hanging over the edge of the roasting tin.
  7. Roast for 10 minutes at 220℃ then reduce to 170℃ and roast for ~3 hours.
  8. Every 30 minutes or so, baste the duck using the fat from the roasting tin then use the baster to decant excess fat from the tin into a large bowl (there is a lot of fat!).
  9. Once done, leave uncovered to rest for ~30 minutes then shred!