Roast Duck pic by FotoosVanRobin

photo by FotoosVanRobin

Who loves roast duck?

Duck, duck oh crispy skinned roast duck.

How I adore your tantalizing glossy skin and hidden within your grasp, your juicy flesh so deliciously moist.

A quick trip to Chinatown in Sydney was all that was needed to satisfy my crispy skinned roast duck addiction, but as I grow and develop as a Chef of domestic bliss, my cravings are more intense and I require a higher dose of pleasure to stem my addictive tendencies.

The pleasure that I gain from eating is intensified from the processes that are undertaken preconsumption.

No longer am I satisfied with just handing over money and receiving a brown package filled with crisp skin and tender roast duck meat.

I desire more.

I need to know where my duck came from, and that it was treated and handled with the care that benefits not just the diner, but the duck and the environment where it was bred and raised.

I need to choose and purchase my canard, like a casting director on American Idol listening to countless peoples’ interpretations of classic ballads until one lone ranger stands out from the pack of hopeful stars.

Is my duck free range, free from antibiotics and hormones?

Does my duck have a pleasing ratio of lean meat to fat?

With precious parcel firmly in hand, I make my way to the kitchen to begin a 3-day Duck preparation which will be a testament to my patience and my addiction.

Crispy Skinned Roast Duck with a Honey, Soy and Sesame Sauce

The somewhat laborious-sounding 3-day preparation time is only 20 minutes in actual activity spread out over 3-days of anxious anticipation.

Is a roast duck recipe worth it? YOU BET!

Day One

Choose a duck, fitting of the above description weighing in at 1.5 to 2kg/3-4 pounds. This size duck will feed up to 4 adults along with trimmings.

Wash the duck inside and out with cold running water and remove any fat folds from around the inside cavity with a small knife. For the incentive based cooks amongst us, retain the duck fat to render down at a later stage.

Pat the duck dry with paper towels then season well with salt both inside and out. Rub 4-5 Tablespoons of Chinese 5-spice all over the skin of the duck and place the duck on wire rack sitting over a tray.

Place the duck uncovered inside the refrigerator to dry out for 24 hours.

Day Two

Rinse the duck under cold running water and bring a pot of water to boil that is large enough to fully submerge the duck.

Into the pot of boiling water add 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar and 1/2 cup of glucose syrup.

Wrap some kitchen string around the legs of the duck, and using the string to hold the duck like a lead, plunge the duck ten times into the boiling liquid.

Place the duck back onto the cleaned wire rack and tray and allow to cool slightly before placing back uncovered into the refrigerator for a further 24 hours to dry out further.

Day Three

Bring the duck from the cold confines of the refrigerator and allow to warm up to room temperature for an hour. In the meantime preheat the oven on bake to 200C/400F.

Roast the duck until well cooked and crisp, this should take about one hour. You will know the duck is cooked when the juices from the thigh run clear when prodded.

While the duck is roasting prepare the following ingredients into the sauce.

Honey Soy and Sesame Sauce

Into a heavy bottomed pot on medium heat mix together 2 Tablespoons of light soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon of honey and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil.
Bring gently to the boil, mixing until well combined. Remove from the heat and taste for flavor.

When the roast duck is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing into servable pieces.
Pour over the sauce and sprinkle roasted sesame seeds over top.

Serve with crisp lightly blanched greens like broccolini, asparagus and snowpeas.

…and if you really want to enjoy all things duck, try this Duck Liver and Whiskey Parfait recipe. This you will love.

Enjoy your roast duck everyone!




  1. looks excellent. well done! looks better than any i've tried in a restaurant.

  2. WOW – what an accomplishment!! crispy skinned duck is such a treat and yours looks fantastic!

  3. LunaCafe said…

    Oh Bridget, this is amazing and exactly what I have been wanting. I am dreaming up our thanksgiving dinner (2 1/2 months early, heh heh), and I envision crispy skinned cornish game hens with leek and hazelnut stuffing. Do you think this technique will work with other birds? I read somewhere a while back about a chef who inadvertently left several chickens out for several hours on the shelf above his commercial range before remembering to roast them. Probably dangerous, but he said the skin was amazingly crisp and light. I am going to try your method. Thank you! …Susan

  4. I’ve invited the family to ours this xmas for a big dinner, so the roast is pretty central to that.. I found a lot of ideas at this roast recipes site, but cant decide on anyone – there’s so many to choose from! It’s fun planning such a big xmas dinner though!

  5. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment
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    Anyway, just wanted to say great blog!

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With 20+ years working in commercial kitchens, I’m here to share with you some of the best secrets of the trade to help you cook better, faster and to eat well. You will surprise a lot of family & friends when you give some of my recipes a try.