As an impressive alternative to the usual chicken or turkey, roasted duck makes for a delicious and dramatic holiday centerpiece. While often viewed as difficult to prepare, this step-by-step roasted duck recipe ensures crispy skin wrapped around tender, succulent meat.

1. Roasted Duck Recipe


  • 1 whole duck (4-5 pounds)
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into chunks
  • Fresh thyme and sage
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 cup red wine

Marinade & Sauce

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1⁄4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1-inch ginger, finely grated
  • 2 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder


  • Roasting pan with rack
  • Butcher’s twine
  • Basting bulb
  • Meat thermometer


Step 1: Prep the Duck

Rinse duck inside and out under cold water. Pat very dry. Use a fork to generously prick skin all over to allow fat to drain during roasting. Be careful not to poke into the meat. Sprinkle inside cavity liberally with salt and pepper. Stuff with quartered orange, onion, carrots, celery and fresh herbs.

Step 2: Truss Duck

To cook evenly, truss duck with twine by folding wing tips under body then crossing legs and tying together.

Step 3: Make Crispy Skin

Use a paring knife to carefully score the skin: Make 1 1⁄2 inch cuts diagonally across the breast then again horizontally. Keep knife blade just through skin. This allows duck fat to render and makes the skin extra crispy.

Step 4: Marinate Duck

In a large ziplock bag or baking dish, combine orange juice, soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger and 5-spice powder. Add duck and turn to evenly coat. Refrigerate 6-24 hours. Turn bag occasionally.

Step 5: Roast Duck

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place duck breast-side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Reserve used marinade for sauce. Roast duck for 30 minutes until starting to brown.

Step 6: Baste and Roast

Lower oven to 275°F. Using a basting bulb, start collecting duck fat from the pan bottom and drizzle over duck every 30 minutes while roasting. Roast approximately 20 minutes per pound until internal temperature of thigh meat reaches 165-175°F on a meat thermometer.

Step 7: Make Pan Sauce

Once duck is removed, place roasting pan on stovetop burner over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup red wine and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Let reduce by half then whisk in reserved marinade.

Step 8: Carve and Serve

After resting duck 20-30 minutes, use a sharp carving knife to cut straight down along both sides of the breastbone to remove intact breast halves. Slice leg portions where they attach. Arrange on a serving platter and drizzle with reduced sauce before serving.

With rendered fat basted throughout the roasting, the skin becomes browned and crispy while the meat stays succulently moist thanks to the brining effect of the Asian marinade. slices of the seared, spice and fruit-infused duck breast and leg meat are sure to impress any guest. Served family-style with the simple yet flavorful pan sauce ladled over each slice

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Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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