Roast Duck

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Floyd on Britain & Ireland

By Keith Floyd

Published 1988

  • About

A good duck, roasted well, is always a treat. To give a delicious, crispy skin, ensure that you prick well all over to allow the fat to escape.


  • 1 × 4 lb (2 kg) free-range duck, dressed, giblets reserved
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour

For the stock

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pint (600 ml) water
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bay leaf


First make the stock. Heat the oil in a saucepan and brown the duck gizzard and heart. Add the water, vegetables, bay leaf and liver. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Strain the giblet stock into a bowl, return it to the pan and bring back to the boil. Boil rapidly until reduced to about 10 fl oz (300 ml). Cool and skim the fat off the surface.

Put the duck on a wire rack in a roasting tin and sprinkle the breast liberally with a mixture of salt and pepper. Rub the seasoning thoroughly into the skin. Prick the skin all over with a sharp fork or skewer. Roast in the oven at gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C), allowing 20 minutes per lb (500 g) and basting occasionally with fat from the tin. Invert the bird half-way through the cooking time.

When the duck is cooked, a skewer pushed into the meat should release clear, not pink, juices. Transfer to a warm plate, remove the trussing string and keep warm.

Drain the fat from the roasting tin and stir the flour into the remaining juices. Cook over moderate heat until it bubbles, stirring all the time to prevent sticking. Gradually stir in the reduced stock. Cook the gravy for about 10 minutes, stirring until smooth and thickened. Season to taste and serve with the duck.