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How to Cook Whole Roast Duck

How to Cook...

Whole Roast Duck
For More Information or Ideas
Many food writers have brilliant ways to cook and serve duck. Look out for Ray McVinnie, Fiona Smith and Kate Fay’s Cibo Cookbook, where she features an entire duck section. is also a wealth of information!
Where Will I Find Saveur Whole Duck?
  • Look for Saveur Whole Duck in the meat section of your supermarket, or butcher or specialist retailers.

How Many Will I Need?
  • A Saveur Whole Duck 1.8kg will serve approximately 2-3 people (roughly a breast & leg per person).

But a 1.8kg chicken will feed nearly 8 people!
  • Ducks are a different poultry to chicken: they have a long and thin frame and do not have the large breast like the chicken.
  • Ducks are a waterfowl and have a layer of fat under their skin to keep them warm and waterproof - this is why the skin of a duck is so thick and why so much fat will render during cooking.
  • Duck is a richly flavoured meat, so a moderate quantity per person is usually sufficient.

Preparation - Whole Duck
  • Preheat oven to 160°C.
  • Always thaw your duck thoroughly before cooking.
  • Remove the tail and any vent fat - this reduces the amount of fat that will render during cooking.
  • Score the skin of the duck all over - this will allow the fat layer under the skin to render during cooking.
  • Season with salt & pepper.

Cooking Whole Saveur Duck

Roasting Whole Ducks – Basic Method
  • The easiest way to cook a whole duck is to roast it. Simply place the whole duck breast side down in a low temperature(160°C) oven for approximately 1½ - 2 hours.
  • About ¾ of the way through the time, turn the duck over.
  • A lot of fat will render out of the duck, from underneath the skin. This is normal.
  • You can use an oven rack when roasting a whole duck, so that the duck doesn’t sit in the rendered fat, if this is not desirable.
  • At the end of cooking, check that the juices run clear and remove the duck from the oven and rest for 10 minutes.
  • Hint: a long pronged fork is a useful utensil when removing the duck from the oven tray, as it allows all the juices inside the cavity to drain out easily.
  • The rendered duck fat can be sieved through a paper towel and stored for later use. The most common use for duck fat is to ‘confit’ duck or use it when roasting potatoes, to flavour the potatoes.

Cooking Whole Saveur Duck

Serving Whole Ducks
  • With a sharp knife cut the leg on the front of the bird, away from the body and slice around the back bone. This will give you a drumstick and thigh portion, without the back bone.
  • With a sharp knife, slice the meat down to the end of the breast bone and cut around the rib cage, to the back, and up by the wing. This will give you a breast fillet.
  • Arrange on a plate and drizzle your favourite jus or sauce over the duck.
  • The carcass can be used to make duck stock, which can also be used to make a duck-based jus.

Cooking Whole Saveur Duck

Saveur Duck is a trademark of Gameford Lodge 2009 Ltd