Christmas Roast Duck
11 Dec 2022

Christmas Roast Duck

11 Dec 2022

This amazing Western-style roast duck by Jamie Oliver has been my go-to recipe whenever I feel like having duck at home. I recently made this for our usual end of year get-together in place of turkey, due to a complete shortage of turkey in the market this year. I’ve updated the recipe with some improvements on the method to reduce handling time and utensils used.

Duck fat roast potatoes: to die for. Reserve the carcass to make lovely duck stock.

Christmas Roast Duck


  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 orange, zested and halved
  • 1 (3 kg) whole duck, neck reserved and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 red onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped into chunks
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and chopped into chunks
  • 1 small stick cinnamon
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 kg chat potatoes, quartered
  • 1 chicken stock cube, diluted in 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 100 ml prune juice OR red grape juice


Pick the leaves off one of the rosemary sprigs and place on a board with the nutmeg, orange zest, thyme and 1 teaspoon of salt.

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Chop everything together and rub the mixture all over the duck, inside and out. Cover and leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to let the flavours penetrate.

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C (fan 200 degrees C) and place the shelf on the middle level.

Stuff the duck with the remaining rosemary sprigs, orange halves, and the garlic cloves.

In a deep roasting tray, scatter the onion, celery, carrots, cinnamon, ginger, bay leaves, and chopped duck neck. Put the duck breast-side up straight onto your oven rack, and place the tray of vegetables underneath the duck.  Roast for 20 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 180 degrees C (fan 160 degrees C), about 1 hour.

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Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a pan. Cover with cold water, add 1 tablespoon salt, bring to a simmer and parboil for 5 to 10 minutes, then drain in a colander.

Arrange the potatoes evenly at the bottom of another deep roasting tin. Season with salt and pepper. Watch the salt – the potatoes should be seasoned enough from the salted water.

After the duck has roasted for an hour, remove the tray of veggies from the oven and immediately replace with the tray of potatoes. Continue roasting for another hour, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast registers 65 to 68 degrees C.

Spoon out all the duck fat from the vegetable tray. Reserve the duck fat for later use.

In another large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of duck fat over medium heat.

When the fat begins to sizzle, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to form a paste.

Stir in the prune juice.

Add all the vegetables, duck neck pieces and juices. Add the chicken stock.

Add a little boiling water to the tray and, using a wooden spoon, scrape all the sticky brown bits off the bottom. Add the water and brown bits into the saucepan.

Pour the contents of the saucepan into the simmering stock mixture.  Bring the gravy to the boil and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.

After the duck is done, remove from the oven.  Cover with tin foil and leave to rest for about 15 minutes.

Carve the duck as desired.

Arrange the carrots from the gravy around the edges of a serving platter and place your carved duck pieces in the center.  Serve with the potatoes and gravy.

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