Perfect Roast Duck

Roast duck is a classic Christmas meal and a holiday tradition in many homes throughout North America. Let the duck sit uncovered in the refrigerator overnight before you bake it as that will help to dry and crisp the skin. Unless a duck is very large it is easier to cut off the legs and thighs and then remove the breast for carving. Serve with celeriac and apple mashed potatoes and snappy green beans. 

See how you can pair an effervescent and fruity wine with this Perfect Roast Duck on

Perfect Roast Duck


  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
  • ½ cup (125 mL) chopped onion
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 3 cups (750 mL) torn bread
  • ½ cup (125 mL) chopped prunes
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) grated orange rind
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) chicken stock or more if needed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 1 KCD Whole Grade A Duck, 5 lbs (2.2 kg)
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar


  • ½ cup (125 mL) orange juice
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chicken stock


  1. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add apples and cook for 1 more minute or until coated with oil. Stir in bread and cook until edges are golden, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add prunes, tarragon, orange rind and stock. Cook for 2 more minutes or until stock is absorbed and mixture is combined. If it seems too dry, add a little extra stock. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.
  2. Preheat oven to 250°F (120°C).
  3. With a fork, prick duck skin all over to help release the fat. Fill cavity with stuffing. Place on a rack in a roasting pan. Combine soy sauce and balsamic vinegar and brush over duck. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 3 hours, pricking the skin again after an hour to help render fat. Baste with soy-balsamic baste several times during roasting.
  5. Raise the temperature to 350°F (180°C) and bake for 30 minutes more or until skin is crisp and juices run clear.
  6. Place on carving board and let sit for 10 minutes before carving.
  7. Discard the fat from roasting pan, leaving all the juices. Add orange juice and stock and bring to boil, scraping all the bits from the base of the pan. Boil about 2 minutes or until sauce slightly thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a sauceboat and serve with duck.

Serves 4

Ontario winemakers are serious masters of their craft, but they haven’t lost their sense of whimsy. Keep the festivities light by serving a touch of the unexpected in your guests’ wine glasses. Uncork an effervescent and fruity wine that complements the richness of roast duck.

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