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Roast wild duck

3 roasted wild duck on an oven rack

Are you lucky enough to have access to wild duck meat but not sure how to cook it perfectly? Try this roast wild duck recipe at home. It's easy and the result is tender, juicy duck meat that taste amazing!

Roast duck with orange sauce

wild ducks on a chopping board

This roast wild duck is stuffed with whole orange, onion, thyme and bay leaves served with a sauce of the drippings and flesh of the cooked orange.

Wild duck is best eaten pink. cooking until the duck reaches an internal temp of 135F or 58C

I found that the mallard ducks are best for roasting as they are less likely to dry out.

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Cooking whole wild duck

As wild ducks have less fat than farmed ducks they will roast more quickly and care needs to be taken to prevent them from drying out.

Stuff a whole orange in the ducks cavity and put it in an oven bag together with onion, garlic, carrot and celery. The orange and the oven bag keeps the roasted wild duck meat juicy as it works like a combi oven/steamer. The drippings makes a tasty sauce.

The vegetables and the orange in the ducks cavity gives the sauce a nice flavor.

ducks stuffed with orange
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How to clean wild ducks

First we need to pluck the ducks. This is defiantly the least fun part of the process and the part that takes the longest. Once the birds are plucked, cooking them is easy and worth the effort. Pluck them as soon as possible – preferably that day.

Ducks being plucked on a table
  • Dunk the whole bird in and out of hot water for about 2-3 minutes, until the bird is completely soaked.
  • Hold the duck by it's feet and pluck away from you.
  • To pluck, simply pinch a bunch of feather between thumb and forefinger and pull against the grain.
  • Continue the process until all feathers are gone

Wild duck is lean, free range and organic.

As a game bird, wild duck meat is leaner and tends to be darker red than farmed duck. Wild duck has a rich flavor and is a healthier option to farmed duck because of its lean nature. You can be sure that the wild duck is truly free ranged with a natural diet.

Try this green tomato and chilli chutney . It's great served with roast duck!

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Cooking Method
Difficulty Intermediate
Prep Time: 20 20 mins Cook Time: 2 2 hrs Rest Time: 20 20 mins Total Time: 2 hrs 40 mins
Servings 4
Best Season Suitable throughout the year

A hint of orange in the sauce for roasted duck is a winning combination.

I serve my whole roasted wild duck with mash potato and buttered swede. A Southland classic

Roast wild duck
    Whole roasted wild duck
  • 2 Ducks (whole)
  • 2 oranges (whole)
  • 2 bayleaves
  • fresh thyme (sprigs)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 carrots (chopped)
  • q celery stick (sliced)
  • 6 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • Sauce for roasted duck
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • juices from the duck roasting bag
    Whole wild duck with orange sauce
  1. Whole wild duck3 Ducks in an oven bag
    • Put the whole orange, thyme sprigs and bay leaf inside the cavity.
    • Rub the outside of the bird with olive oil, salt and pepper.
    • Put the birds in an oven bag with the onions, garlic, carrots and celery.
    • Place the oven bag on a rack in an oven tray with water at the bottom of it and roast 180C for 45min – 1 hour.
    • While the meat is resting make a gravy out of the juices in the bag.
  2. Sauce for roasted duck
  3. roast wild duck and gravy
    • Make a roux with butter and flour in a saucepan.
    • Strain the liquid from the bag into the saucepan. Whisk while cooking for a few minutes.
    • If too thick add more water and seasoning.
    • If you like the sauce to have more orange flavor then squeeze the juice and pulp of the cooked oranges from the duck cavity in to the sauce pot and mix
    • Serve with roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

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