Spiced Whole Roast Duck

Whole Duck RS CC

Spiced Whole Roast Duck.

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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I just love roasts. Throw the dish in the oven, walk away and you have dinner ready with minimal work. I have never made Roast Duck before, so I decided to give it a go. Duck is always my favourite dish at Chinese restaurants so I thought I’d give my duck a Chinese twist with a simple spice rub into the skin. The kids and I were really happy with the result. We are so used to eating chickens that have been injected with a marinade to keep the breast meat succulent after baking. We found that the duck meat is darker in colour and tougher than chicken, but it has a delicious flavour due to the duck fat. It was nice to do something a little different this time.

Just a few tricks, I used carrots as a trivet to hold the duck off the base of the baking dish and to stop the bird from sticking. The cooked carrots don’t have to be eaten, but they are delicious and can be pureed and used in gravy. Also, I always use a thermometer to ensure that my roasts are fully cooked. For bone in pieces I aim for a temperature of at least 85c and always check near the bones and in the thicker portion of the breast meat to make sure that the meat is fully cooked through. For more details, please see the Food Poisoning and Safe Food Handling page. 

Duck Fat is absolutely delicious. I wanted to use the fat in the baking tray to bake some sweet potato in later, so after removing the bird and the carrots I let the baking pan cool a little. I carefully drained the juices from the pan through a sieve and into a glass jug. I thew out the solids left in the sieve and put the jug of cooking liquid into the fridge. The fat layer rises which leaves the other juices on the bottom. I can remove the fat layer and keep in the fridge to use to roast my vegetables another day. 


Credit: foodfactsforhealthyeating.com


  • 2 carrots
  • 1 duck
  • 1tsp Five spice powder
  • Ground salt 

Whole Roast Duck Ing RS CC


  1. Preheat the oven to 190c. Choose a baking dish large enough to fit your bird. 
  2. Top and tail the carrots and cut the carrots into quarters lengthways. Lay the carrots across the base of the baking dish. 
  3. Remove the duck from packaging, including any moisture pads that may be in the bag or on the bird. Remove the neck close to the body with a sharp knife being very careful. Also remove the tip of the wings.  Over some paper towel or a sink, hold the duck up to allow the juices that have collected in the inside cavity to drain. Pat the outer and inner surface of the cavity with paper towel till nice and dry. Lay the bird, breast side up on top of the carrots making sure it’s sitting high on top of the carrots and not touching the base of the pan.  
  4. Sprinkle the five spice powder over the top of the duck and spread evenly with your fingers. Liberally grind salt over the surface of the skin. Place the tray into the oven and bake for 40 minutes per kg. My duck was 1.8kg and I baked it for 1hr and 15 minutes. 
  5. Remove the bird from the oven at the finish time and use a thermometer to check the temperature is above 85c in the joints near the bone, and in the thickest part of the meat at the breast. If it’s fully cooked, remove from the oven and rest the duck for about 10 minutes before serving.
  6. Be aware that there may be some juices from the cooking in the cavity of the bird. When removing the bird from the pan, be careful not to tip the juices into the pan if you want to use the fat later. If your not concerned, carefully drain the hot liquid from the bird into the baking tray before removing to a serving plate. 


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