• Rich and succulent roast duck is the perfect centerpiece for your dinner table. Duck meat is known for its delicious density, so make it doubly delectable with this recipe. A perfect dinner for Christmas or entertaining.

    Recipe by Dorah Sitole 

    Rich and succulent roast duck

    Serves: 6
    Cooking Time: 3 hrs


    • 3,5 – 4kg trussed and oven-ready fresh duck
    • coarse salt
    • fresh mint leaves, to garnish
    • Stuffing

    • 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
    • 5ml (1 tsp) ground coriander
    • 250g lean pork or beef mince
    • 250ml (1 cup) fresh brown breadcrumbs
    • 45ml (3 tbsp) fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) fresh mint, chopped
    • zest of 1 orange
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • Gravy

    • 30ml (2 tbsp) flour
    • 500ml (2 cups) chicken stock
    • juice of 1 orange
    • 60ml (¼ cup) port, optional
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) redcurrant jelly
    • roasted apples, to serve
    • roasted red onions, to serve



    Preheat the oven to 190°C. Wipe the inside of the duck with paper towel and set aside.


    For the stuffing, heat the oil in a frying pan and add onion, celery and coriander. Fry gently until soft but not brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.


    Add all of the remaining ingredients to the onion mixture, season and use your hands to mix well, squeezing the mixture so that the ingredients bind together.


    Spoon stuffing mixture into the duck cavity; you can do this easily with the legs still tied.


    Place the duck in a large roasting tin, prick the breast several times with a fork and sprinkle with coarse salt.


    Cover loosely with heavy-duty foil to form a tent over the duck. Roast in a hot oven for 1 hour. Remove the duck from the oven, open foil and baste with pan juices, cover and return to the oven, roast for a further 1 hour.


    Remove from oven and open up the foil (keep legs covered as they need extra protection), baste and return to the oven with breast exposed. Roast for 30 minutes to brown the skin.


    To test whether the duck is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer – the juices should run clear, not pink or red.


    Carefully remove duck from roasting tin and hold it with the legs facing downwards to drain off as much excess fat as possible. Place on a warm serving platter and allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving.


    For the gravy, pour out most of the oil, put the roasting tin on top of the stove over low heat, sprinkle with flour and stir with a wooden spoon to scrape up the sediments until the flour is browned. Pour in the stock and stir to mix, bring to a boil and then simmer gently for 5 minutes. Add orange juice, port and redcurrant jelly, and simmer until the gravy thickens, about 5 more minutes.


    Carve the duck, arrange on a platter, garnish with fresh mint, stuffing balls, roasted apples and red onions.


    To drink: Pair with the fruity, spicy flavours of a pinotage.