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Roast duck

This is a great recipe for roasting a whole duck for crispy duck pancakes. I use a baster and a v-shaped roasting rack.


  • 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. 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!

Prepare in advance!

I prefer roasting the duck the day before.

  1. Before shredding the duck, carefully remove the skin and lay flat on a sheet of tin foil. Cover with another sheet and pop in the fridge.
  2. Shred the duck and transfer to an appropriately-sized oven dish then cover with tin foil, ensuring a good seal to the oven dish. Pop in the fridge.
  3. Take the duck out the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
  4. Place a roasting rack in an oven tray and lay out the duck skin.
  5. Preheat the oven to 170℃ and put the oven dish (duck meat) in the middle of the oven and the oven tray (duck skin) on the shelf below.
  6. Cook for 20 minutes or until the duck meat is piping hot and the duck skin is crispy.
  7. Roughly chop the duck skin and transfer to a large mixing bowl along with the duck meat. Use a pair of tongs to combine.