Go ahead, roast that duck!

Peachie Thompson · April 22, 2021

During our recent ski trip, we enjoyed some slope-side dining at The Branding Iron in Grand Targhee Resort. The views were incredible and service was awesome. Our dinner reservations were at 6 pm and we had the place to ourselves for about an hour before more people arrived. So that was a treat!

We started with some yummy Swiss fondue, broccolini, crusty baguette and some squash for dippers. For my entree, I chose the bison with a side of spinach as well as smoked cheddar mac and cheese. My kids got the same and my husband surprisingly ordered the "Maple Leaf Farms Duck Two Ways"; which was seared breast, leg confit croquette with Brussel leaves, squash and Cardamom au jus. I found out that night how much he and both my girls LOVE duck! So I was on a mission to cook duck when we got home. I found a frozen duck at my local Greenwise and the rest was history. Check out what I made:

The last time I ate duck was in Hongkong when my sister Michelle took me on a shopping spree as a 16 year old many moons ago. Ha! So fast forward... there I was staring at a now thawed duck ready to be cooked. It was my first time cooking duck so I didn't really know what to expect. I started researching how to cook duck and decided there was no one recipe that I liked so I did a hybrid of a few. It turned out ahh-mazing! My friends and family were asking for my recipe. Here is the recipe and some tips for success:

For the roast duck:

  • 1 whole duck, thawed
  • Salt (for generously seasoning the duck)
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 lemon, chopped
  • 3-5 sprigs of thyme

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Bring duck to room temperature by taking it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
  3. Remove giblets from inside the duck, discard then rinse the duck with cold water.
  4. Dry the duck with paper towels.
  5. Score the duck's breast and make a diamond pattern. Do this lightly and try not to cut through the skin.
  6. Season the duck generously with salt.
  7. Put the chopped lemon, garlic cloves and thyme inside the cavity.
  8. Tie up the duck legs with butcher's twine.
  9. Place the duck breast side up on a large roasting pan with a rack (rack is necessary to allow the duck to be lifted away from the fat drip).
  10. Roast breast side up for 1 hour then flip it.
  11. Roast the other side for 30 minutes then flip it back.
  12. Combine the squeezed lemon, balsamic vinegar and honey in a bowl.
  13. Roast breast side up again for another 30 minutes. Brush the duck with the mixture every 10 minutes.
  14. Flip the duck again and roast the other side for another 30 minutes. Brush the duck with the mixture every 10 minutes.
  15. The total amount of roasting time is 2.5 hours. Take it out of the oven and let rest for 15 minutes.

I served mine on top of roasted Brussels sprouts, pecan and squash drizzled with maple-cinnamon syrup tossed with cranberries. I also air fried some potatoes and served a side of seared mushrooms with sliced cucumbers. Jack and the kids kept saying that it was the "best duck ever!"

Roasting duck was not too bad but time consuming and required much attention for the last hour. In the end, it was so delicious that I would say it was worth the effort. So go ahead, roast that duck and let me know how it turns out at I can't wait to hear from you. Bon Appetit!

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