Easy Christmas roast duck with crispy potatoes & port gravy

roast duck with potatoes and gravy

Serves 10

  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary

  • ½ nutmeg, grated

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 oranges or blood oranges, zested and halved

  • 2 x 2 kg whole ducks, necks and giblets reserved and roughly chopped

  • 8 cloves garlic, unpeeled

  • 3 red onions, peeled and quartered

  • a few stalks celery, trimmed and chopped into chunks

  • 3 carrots, scrubbed and chopped into chunks

  • ½ stick cinnamon

  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

  • a few bay leaves

  • 2 kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks

  • 1 litre water or organic chicken stock

  • 2 tablespoons plain flour

  • 200 ml red port

Pick the leaves off one of the rosemary sprigs and place on a board with the nutmeg, orange zest, thyme and one tablespoon of sea salt. Chop everything together and rub the mixture all over the ducks, inside and out. Cover and leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to let the flavours penetrate.



Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and place the shelves on the middle and bottom levels. Stuff the ducks with the remaining rosemary sprigs and orange halves, and the garlic cloves, then place them breast-side up, straight on to the bars of the middle shelf. Scatter the onion, celery and carrot in the bottom of a large, deep-sided roasting tray with the cinnamon, ginger, bay leaves, and chopped duck neck and giblets. Place on the bottom shelf beneath the ducks so it will catch all the lovely fat that drips out of them.



Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a pan. Cover with cold, salted water, bring to a simmer and parboil for 5 to 10 minutes, then tip into a colander and chuff them up a little.



After the duck has roasted for an hour, take the bottom tray out of the oven, replacing it immediately with an empty tray. Spoon the fat from the veggie tray into a bowl. Put all the veg, duck bits and juices into a large saucepan, then add a little boiling water to the tray to get all the sticky brown bits off the bottom – this is what you're going to make your gravy with. Tip the water and brown bits into the pan with the veg, top up with 1 litre of water or chicken stock and place on a medium heat, skimming off any of the fat that rises to the top.



Put your parboiled potatoes into the empty tray in the oven. Add a few more tablespoons of duck fat from the bowl, season, and place back underneath the ducks to cook for an hour.



Meanwhile, heat a saucepan and add 2 tablespoons of duck fat. When it's hot and melted, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until you have a paste. Stir in the contents of the saucepan and the port. Bring the gravy to the boil and simmer gently for half an hour, stirring occasionally. By now the ducks will have had 2 hours in the oven and will be done. Lift them on to a plate, cover loosely with tin foil and leave to rest for about 15 minutes.



Pour the gravy through a sieve into a clean saucepan, pressing down on all the veg and other bits to extract as many flavours and juices as you can. Keep the gravy warm in the saucepan, again skimming off any fat on the surface.



Don't carve the ducks – the best thing to do is to pull the meat away from the bones with a pair of tongs or with your fingers wearing clean kitchen gloves, then let everyone fight over the delicious skin! Serve with your potatoes and port gravy.

Nutritional Information

Easy Christmas roast duck with crispy potatoes & port gravy

A festive feast

More Christmas recipes >
0 foodies cooked this
This whole roast duck stuffed with festive spices makes a gorgeous change to Christmas turkey
Serves 10
3h (plus marinating and resting time)
Not too tricky
Print this recipe
Method

This festive duck is loaded with tasty herbs and spices, and the delicious fat is used to flavour the potatoes and port gravy.

Pick the leaves off one of the rosemary sprigs and place on a board with the nutmeg, orange zest, thyme and one tablespoon of sea salt. Chop everything together and rub the mixture all over the ducks, inside and out. Cover and leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to let the flavours penetrate.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and place the shelves on the middle and bottom levels. Stuff the ducks with the remaining rosemary sprigs and orange halves, and the garlic cloves, then place them breast-side up, straight on to the bars of the middle shelf. Scatter the onion, celery and carrot in the bottom of a large, deep-sided roasting tray with the cinnamon, ginger, bay leaves, and chopped duck neck and giblets. Place on the bottom shelf beneath the ducks so it will catch all the lovely fat that drips out of them.

Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a pan. Cover with cold, salted water, bring to a simmer and parboil for 5 to 10 minutes, then tip into a colander and chuff them up a little.

After the duck has roasted for an hour, take the bottom tray out of the oven, replacing it immediately with an empty tray. Spoon the fat from the veggie tray into a bowl. Put all the veg, duck bits and juices into a large saucepan, then add a little boiling water to the tray to get all the sticky brown bits off the bottom – this is what you're going to make your gravy with. Tip the water and brown bits into the pan with the veg, top up with 1 litre of water or chicken stock and place on a medium heat, skimming off any of the fat that rises to the top.

Put your parboiled potatoes into the empty tray in the oven. Add a few more tablespoons of duck fat from the bowl, season, and place back underneath the ducks to cook for an hour.

Meanwhile, heat a saucepan and add 2 tablespoons of duck fat. When it's hot and melted, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until you have a paste. Stir in the contents of the saucepan and the port. Bring the gravy to the boil and simmer gently for half an hour, stirring occasionally. By now the ducks will have had 2 hours in the oven and will be done. Lift them on to a plate, cover loosely with tin foil and leave to rest for about 15 minutes.

Pour the gravy through a sieve into a clean saucepan, pressing down on all the veg and other bits to extract as many flavours and juices as you can. Keep the gravy warm in the saucepan, again skimming off any fat on the surface.

Don't carve the ducks – the best thing to do is to pull the meat away from the bones with a pair of tongs or with your fingers wearing clean kitchen gloves, then let everyone fight over the delicious skin! Serve with your potatoes and port gravy.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:

Calories

Calories are just a unit of energy. If you eat more than you use you can gain weight, or lose it if you don't eat enough. How much you need depends on your weight, gender and how active you are, but it's around 2,000 a day.

Carbs

Carbs are a great source of energy and, excluding foods such as potatoes, are made from grains - like bread, pasta and cereal. We all need carbs, but try to make them all wholegrain by sticking to brown bread, rice and pasta - they are much more nutritious.

Sugar

We all deserve a treat sometimes, but try to limit your sugar intake. Most of your sugar should come from raw fruit and milk, because they give us lots of nutrients too. Always check food labels so you know how much sugar you're eating.

Fat

We all need to eat a small amount of fat because it protects our organs and helps us grow. But we need to be careful about how much fat we eat and what kinds of fat, because in higher levels it's associated with weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Saturates

Saturated or "bad fats" are in beef, pork, chicken skin, butter, cream and cheese. Too much can be bad for our heart and cholesterol levels, but unsaturated or "good fats" in fish, nuts, avocados and some oils can help keep our hearts healthy if eaten in moderation.

Protein

Protein helps our muscles to grow and repair, as well as providing you with essential amino acids. When it comes to protein, try to eat leaner sources such as chicken and fish or non-meat sources such as eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and pulses.
  • Calories 1079
    54%
  • Carbs 42.6g
    16%
  • Sugar 7.5g 8%
  • Fat 77.1g 110%
  • Saturates 22.9g 114%
  • Protein 45.6g 101%
Of an adult's reference intake

BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary

  • ½ nutmeg, grated

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 oranges or blood oranges, zested and halved

  • 2 x 2 kg whole ducks, necks and giblets reserved and roughly chopped

  • 8 cloves garlic, unpeeled

  • 3 red onions, peeled and quartered

  • a few stalks celery, trimmed and chopped into chunks

  • 3 carrots, scrubbed and chopped into chunks

  • ½ stick cinnamon

  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

  • a few bay leaves

  • 2 kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks

  • 1 litre water or organic chicken stock

  • 2 tablespoons plain flour

  • 200 ml red port