Diana Stoll’s Barbecued Duck

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Appears in

The Sugar Club Cookbook

By Peter Gordon

Published 1997

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In June 1996 I was on Shelter Island, at the eastern end of Long Island, USA, helping to cook a wedding feast for one of my best friends. Diana Stoll had decided that she wanted barbecued duck suprême for her husband-to-be, Jeff Kinsel, and their 196 guests, so she hired a charcoal-burning monster of a grill. Here I pass on her recipe for this delicious dish. Be sure to score the fat really well and render as much of it from the suprêmes as possible before grilling as this will prevent flare-ups. Although best cooked on a barbecue, it can also be done under a domestic grill. Be warned, though, that as duck is extremely fatty a lot of smoke is inevitable.


  • 6 duck suprêmes
  • 200ml (7fl oz) balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed


Marinate the duck two days in advance. Buy plump suprêmes off the bone and trim the fat to the degree you prefer (I love the taste of the crisped fat so I leave a good amount on). Lay them on a board, fat side up, and with a sharp knife score through to the flesh at 3mm (⅛in) intervals – the more you score, the crisper the skin will become. In a bowl mix the remaining ingredients and add the duck, turning several times. Put everything into a non-reactive container, cover, and keep in the fridge for two days. Turn the duck twice during this time.

On the day, get your barbecue (or grill) hot and at the same time heat up a frying pan. Remove the suprêmes from the marinade and reserve the capers in a few tablespoons of the marinade. Put the suprêmes – as many as will fit comfortably – skin side down into the pan and fry on a moderate to high heat without adding any fat until a light brown, draining off excess fat as you go. This can be done up to 6 hours before barbecuing, in which case cool them and store in the fridge.

When the barbecue is ready, set the rack 10cm (4in) above the charcoal, which should be red hot. Cook the suprêmes with the flesh side facing the heat for 5 minutes, then turn and cook for 3 minutes more (watch out for flare-ups). When they’re done, remove from the heat and drizzle with capers and marinade, then rest for 10 minutes before handing out. Serve with crisp green vegetables or salad and some rice or boiled potatoes.