Little says Christmas dinner quite like my Sticky Citrus Roasted Duck. Synonymous with Charles Dickens, festive cheer and plenty, duck is one of those luxuriously rich proteins that appears to be a bit of a palaver to cook, but in actuality is rather simple.

Developed as part of a series for La Motte, this recipe utilities the famed Franschhoek estate’s Pierneef 2018 Syrah Viognier – a beautifully balanced blend that lends itself to duck’s unctuous mouthfeel and subtly gamey taste. The basting of citrus marmalade, soy sauce and bay bring out the fruitiness of the wine and turn this into a really festive dish.

Here, I prepped potatoes roasted to a golden crisp in the residual duck fat and seasoned with sage-infused salt to serve with the duck, but glazed carrots & beets, balsamic-baked Brussels sprouts, spiced pumpkin or even roasted Camembert with cherries work beautifully as alternative options.

Sticky Citrus Roasted Duck

Prep time: 30 mins /Cook time: 1.5 hours /Serves: 4

You will need:

  • 1x 2kg free range duck, cleaned
  • 60g lemon or lime marmalade (orange can also be used)
  • Half a lemon, zested and juiced
  • 50ml soy sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2-3 bay leaves (dried or fresh)
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh sage
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Add the marmalade, lemon juice and zest, soy sauce, garlic and bay leaves to a small saucepan over medium heat. Combine the ingredients and reduce to a sticky marinade. Season to taste and leave the marinade to cool slightly.

Pat down the duck with kitchen towel and using a sharp knife, remove the yellowish preening glands in the tail. Arrange it on a rack within a roasting pan. Use a brush to baste the marinade all over the duck and stuff the cavity with the rosemary and sage. 

Place the duck breast-side up and pour a little water in the base of the roasting dish. Cover the dish with foil, cinching in the edges. Roast for 30 mins at 220°C then remove the foil and lower the temperature to 180°C for the remaining hour. To tell of the duck is ready, insert a skewer or knife tip into the leg meat – if the juices run clear then the duck is cooked.

Carve the duck and serve with crispy roast potatoes, roasted pumpkin, steamed greens and a few glasses of La Motte Pierneef 2018 Syrah Viognier.

Sticky Citrus Roasted Duck

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