This crisp wine basted duck is roasted to perfection and has an unmatched flavor. Stuffed with prunes, apples, pecans, and herbs, this recipe combines the best savory ingredients. Whether you roast it for a special occasion or everyday dinner, you will impress your family and friends with your culinary skills.
We have just begun the new year and I am guessing that many of you (like myself) have made resolutions to eat healthier. Thus, you are probably wondering why I am posting this crisp wine basted duck recipe. Doesn’t duck have high-fat content? If you answered “yes”, you would be correct in your assumption, but high-fat content doesn’t necessarily mean that it is unhealthy. In fact, according to the Weston A. Price Foundation, pasture-raised foods with high-fat content have many health benefits including lowering the risk of heart disease. However, if you are worried about high-fat content, you do not have to give up duck. Its fat is only skin deep; thus, skinless duck meat has the same fat content as skinless chicken. Additionally, eating duck offers many other health benefits, some of which are listed below:
-Contains all 8 essential B vitamins
-High in zinc
-High in Iron
-Contains over a third of the recommended daily intake of Selenium
This crisp wine basted duck is perfect for a special occasion dinner, but don’t let that stop you from making it for an everyday family dinner. Despite popular belief, roasting duck is not difficult. If you can make a roasted chicken, you can make a perfectly crisp roasted duck.
In this recipe, I used a 5lb pasture-raised duck. Just adjust the measurements up or down according to the size of the fowl. In addition to being healthier, pasture-raised ducks have a much better flavor than grain-fed ones (in my opinion).
Some people like to roast their duck with sugary glazes, but I find that a simple savory rub complements the flavor of the meat perfectly. I like to make my rub in bulk because I also use it on roasted chicken or even turkey. My combination of salt, black pepper, sage, and thyme is versatile enough to use it in multiple dishes. Trust me, once you make this rub you will be putting it on any poultry dish.
I stuff the inside of the duck with apples, lemons, fresh herbs, onions, pecans, garlic, and prunes. It probably sounds like a lot to stuff the inside of a duck with, but if you stuff it with a small amount of each, it fits perfectly. I spread the leftover stuffing ingredients in the bottom of the roasting pan, to serve alongside the duck. (The roasted apple pieces are probably my favorite part.) The combination of these unique ingredients brings an unmatched flavor to this dish.
The “secret” ingredient in this recipe is white wine. If I had to pick the most important ingredient in this recipe, I would probably pick the wine. This ingredient really brings out the flavor and gives the recipe its “gourmet” taste. In addition to pouring it on top, be sure to pour the wine inside the duck’s cavity after you stuff it. I also like to reserve around half the wine to baste the duck with during the roasting process. (I usually baste it each time I flip it in the pan.)
Finally, I like to add butter under the skin. I know duck is already naturally high in fat, but butter truly ensures it has that beautiful crisp skin we all strive for. If you are worried about high-fat content, you can skip this ingredient.
After rinsing the duck thoroughly, tie the two drumsticks together with kitchen twine. This ensures that the duck has that “presentation worthy” look straight out of the oven. Also, be sure to set the duck in a roasting rack and not on the bottom of the pan; otherwise, the duck will not cook properly.
The rub is pretty simple, just mix the ingredients in a bowl and you are set. However, if you are making extra rub for future use, remove that amount from the bowl before you put the rub on the duck. Otherwise, it will become contaminated with raw duck juices.
For the onions, lemons, and apples, I like to chop them into fourths. This prevents them from cooking too quickly on the bottom of the roasting pan. I leave the fresh herbs on the stem. Just stuff them directly into the cavity.
Leave the prunes and garlic cloves whole. It is up to you to use either halved or chopped pecans. (I used halved.)
Putting it all together:
The first step is to stuff the duck. Put a small amount of rub inside the cavity before you stuff it. I find it works best when you stick the fresh herbs in last. After you stuff it, put the rest of the stuffing ingredients in the bottom of the pan. Then pour half the wine in the cavity and over the top of the breast.
The next step is optional, but don’t skip it if you want the best flavor. Carefully use a knife to loosen the skin from the breast; then, slide pieces of butter in between the skin and the meat.
After inserting the butter, massage the rub on top of the skin. Don’t forget to season the drumsticks and the wings.
Finally, pour the chicken broth and water into the bottom of the pan, and you are ready to roast it!
There are many opinions about what temperature you should roast a duck on. (Google it if you don’t believe me!) However, after trial and error, I found that 425 degrees does the trick. This temperature nicely crisps the skin, while keeping the meat juicy and tender.
Roast the duck, breast side up, for 30 minutes. Then flip the duck breast side down, baste with leftover wine, and roast for 30 more minutes. Finally, baste with wine once more and flip breast side up. Roast for 30 more minutes or until it reaches a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees.
After removing it from the oven, be sure to let it rest for about 15 minutes. This locks in the juices and ensures that the skin doesn’t fall off when you are trying to carve it. (The crispy skin is probably my favorite part.)
Your Crisp Wine Basted Duck is Finished!
You are done! That wasn’t hard, was it? You can now add “master duck roaster” to your list of accomplishments and impress your friends with your gourmet crisp wine basted duck. (Don’t make it sound too easy!) Soon, you will be the “head chef” for your family’s holiday dinners.
Crisp Wine Basted Duck
perfection and has an unmatched flavor. Stuffed with prunes, apples, pecans,
and herbs, this recipe combines the best savory ingredients. Whether you
roasted it for a special occasion or everyday dinner, you will impress your
family and friends with your culinary skills.
- Kitchen Twine
- Roasting pan with Rack
- 2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp Sage
- 1 tbsp Thyme
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1 head Garlic
- 2 Apples
- 3 Onions
- 3 Lemons
- ½ cup Pecans
- 2 cups Sprigs of Fresh Herbs (Rosemary, Sage, Thyme)
- 1½ cup prunes
- 5-6 lb Duck
- 1 stick Butter (optional)
- 2 cups Chicken Broth
- 1 cup Water
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Mix the rub ingredients and set aside
- Chop the onions, apples, and lemons in fourths
- Peel the garlic cloves (leave them whole)
- Rinse the duck and place breast side up on roasting rack, tie legs together with twine
- Put a small amount of rub into the cavity
- Stuff the duck with garlic, apples, lemons, pecans, prunes, and herbs. Spread leftover stuffing ingredients in the bottom of roasting pan
- Pour half of the wine into the cavity and on top of the breast
- (optional) Carefully separate breast skin from the meat and slide butter in between.
- Massage rub onto the outer skin of the duck
- Pour chicken broth and water into the bottom of the pan
- Roast the duck breast side up for 30 minutes
- Remove from oven, baste with leftover wine and flip breast side down. Roast for another 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven again, baste with the rest of the wine, and flip breast side up.
- Roast for 30 more minutes or until internal temperature is 165 degrees.