Roast duck with green peppercorn sauce

Roast Duck Recipes Through the Seasons

POSTED: 05/17/2022

Roast duck is a culinary classic that is the perfect centerpiece for any holiday meal, dinner party or family get together. Its tender, flavorful meat and golden, crispy skin easily pairs with your favorite seasonings, glazes and sides. This makes it a great dish to adapt to your menu any season of the year.

Roasting Basics

Roasting duck is simple if you follow a few basic cooking tips to prepare your duck. Here is how to roast a duck like a pro even if it is your first time:

  • Defrost duck - If frozen, place duck in refrigerator 2-3 days prior to cooking it.
  • Remove giblets - Reserve the neck and giblets to prepare duck stock at a later time.
  • Trim the fat - Prepare your duck by trimming excess fat and skin from the cavity and neck.
  • Render the fat - For crispy skin, you will need to prick the skin with a fork. We also recommend placing the duck in a stock pot of boiling water for 10 minutes to help render the fat and tighten the skin.
  • Season the meat - Season duck with salt and pepper or the spice blend of your choosing. For additional flavor, stuff it with garlic, citrus fruit, onions or other aromatics.
  • Roast the duck - Preheat oven to 350°F. Place duck on roasting rack in pan. Roast for 30 minutes per pound or until the temperature at the thigh joint reaches 180°F.
  • Let the meat rest - Place duck breast side up on cutting board and let rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. This will ensure the juices do not leech out of bird when you carve it.
  • Carve and serve - Place duck breast side up on cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut off the legs. You can separate the thigh and drumstick or serve whole. Remove duck breast by running knife along the breastbone and gently slicing meat from the frame. Slice breast and arrange on platter with leg and thigh meat.
  • Reserve the fat - Pour rendered fat into a clean, airtight container and store in refrigerator.

Recipe Selection

Now that you know the basic steps for successfully roasting a whole duck, it is time to choose the right recipe. Maple Leaf Farms offers a wide range of roast duck recipes that can suit any occasion. Because duck is so versatile, it works well with a variety of cuisines and flavor profiles.

We encourage you to turn to fresh, local ingredients or unique seasonal flavors when planning a menu and choosing a roast duck recipe. Here are our favorite roast duck recipes for each season:

Roast duck’s rich, succulent flavor and crispy, golden skin really sets it apart from other poultry. So, whether you are planning a casual summer barbecue or an elegant holiday gathering you will be sure to impress your guests if you serve Maple Leaf Farms roast duck.