800x800 roast duck

Roasted Duck 101

What you'll need in the kitchen Kitchen shears or a sharp paring knife Roasting pan Carving knife


  • 1 5-6lb River Cottage Farm Pastured Duck


  • 1. Line bottom of oven with foil to catch any spatters. Preheat oven to 425 degrees with rack in second-lowest position. Rinse duck in cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Use kitchen shears or a sharp paring knife to cut away fatty deposits and excess skin around neck area and just inside the bird's cavity.
  • 2. Cut through last joint of wings to remove wing tips, and place them in roasting pan with neck . Place wing tips and neck in a large roasting pan fitted with a rack.
  • 3. Hold a narrow paring knife almost flat against duck's skin and make shallow pricks everywhere but drumsticks. Don't forget the areas where the thighs join the body. Score skin of breast in a crosshatch pattern. Season inside and outside of duck with pepper and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt.
  • 4. Use a light touch with paring knife to gently crosshatch skin's top layer on breast side to facilitate release of fat. Be careful not to cut all the way through skin into flesh.
  • 5. Place duck, breast side up, on rack in pan. Roast for 50 minutes.
  • 6. Remove pan from oven. Set duck on rack in a sink or over a towel to catch drips. Spoon off excess fat from pan; strain, and reserve 1/4 cup if making roasted vegetables. Tilt duck to drain, pouring juices from cavity into roasting pan. To ensure even browning, turn duck twice during roasting. Use paper towels to lift bird from pan. Return duck, breast side down, on rack to pan. Roast for 50 minutes.
  • 7. Flip duck, breast side up, and roast until duck registers 165 degree on an instant read thermometer, about 50 minutes more. Let stand for 15 minutes before carving. Spoon off fat from roasting pan (reserve if desired). Carefully tilt duck, and pour accumulated juices from cavity into pan. Reserve neck and wing tips in pan with juices if making pan sauce.
  • 8. After duck has rested, place it breast side down on a carving board, and cut along both sides of backbone.
  • 9. Flip duck breast side up. Slice along ridge of breastbone to remove meat. When you get to the thigh bone, sever the joint. Remove wings if desired.
  • 10. Separate leg quarters from breast. Slice breast into serving pieces. Sever joint between leg and thigh.
  • 11. Serve duck with roasted vegetables, and drizzle with pan sauce.


Find our delicious pasture raised duck at our online store HERE