Roast Duck with Red Wine Cherry Sauce

Roast DuckThis roast duck recipe is so delicious and isn’t any more work than roasting a chicken! However, it does take longer in the oven – no harm in that, as it’s roasting you’re doing absolutely nothing except basting it the odd time. But I’ve found that ducks are deceptively small. A 1.8 Kilogram chicken, I would consider to be really big with enough meat to feed lots of people. But the duck that I roasted in this recipe was 2.4 Kg and just about served 2 of us. I think, the reason for this is that a duck’s skeleton might be bigger than a chicken’s. Also, ducks are fattier. This fat contributes to the weight of the bird but renders out during cooking so watch out for that as it can be misleading.

Even though a duck may not food as many people as a chicken, you will still get your money’s worth. Start by collecting the rendered fat from the roasting pan. This is delicious for roasting potatoes – something I only do once a year. You can also make a delicious stock with the carcass by boiling it away for a few hours with some vegetables and spices you like. True, you can also do this with a chicken carcass but there is a much better flavour from duck stock.

The sweet meat from roast duck goes really well with this sweet, tart sauce and is definitely worth doing, though maybe not for a big crowd.

Roast Duck with Red Wine Cherry Sauce


  • 3 red onions, thickly sliced
  • 1 2.4Kg duck
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 1 orange, cut into 8 pieces
  • 5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 3 star anise
  • 15 cm of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of cloves
  • 1 tsp of black peppercorns
  • 500 ml of red wine
  • 500 ml beef stock
  • 1 tin of cherries


  1. Add the onions to a roasting tray and sit the duck on the onions. Rub 1 tbsp of olive oil onto the duck and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of sea salt flakes. Stuff the cavity with the orange segments.
  2. Transfer to a preheated oven at 200 degrees celsius and after 20 minutes turn the heat down to 180 degrees celsius for an hour and a half, basting every 20-30 minutes.
  3. To make the sauce, pour the balsamic vinegar into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the rosemary, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and red wine.
  4. Bring it to the boil and allow it to reduce by 2 thirds.
  5. Add the beef stock, bring to the boil and allow to reduce by 2 thirds.
  6. Take it off the heat and set it aside until later.
  7. When the duck is done, remove it from the tray and set it aside to rest. Discard the red onion slices.
  8. With a gravy separator, separate the fat from the rest of the pan juices.
  9. As they are separating, heat a little of the syrup from the tin of cherries and add the drained cherries
  10. Add the red wine sauce from earlier but pour it through a sieve to catch the spices.
  11. Stir it up and try to break up and dissolve any burned on duck bits from around the edges.
  12. Slowly pour in the duck juices and taste to check for seasoning.
  13. Carve the duck and serve with the sauce poured over.
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