Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Christmas roast duck

Prep time 30 mins to 1 hour
Cook time 30 mins to 1 hour
Serves 4-6
From Home Comforts at Christmas
Tired of turkey? James Martin ushers in a Christmas alternative in the form of a delicious spiced roast duck.


  1. Arrange the shelves of your oven so that there is space for the duck at the top and the potatoes on the shelf immediately underneath. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.

  2. Layer the potatoes and onions in an ovenproof dish, seasoning each layer with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour over the stock, flattening the top layer down.

  3. Place the potatoes onto the lower shelf in the oven.

  4. Pierce the duck skin all over with a fork and stuff the neck end of the cavity with the satsuma halves and cinnamon stick. Rub the five-spice powder all over the skin and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  5. Place the duck directly onto the oven rack above the potatoes, so that the juices from the duck will drip onto the potatoes as they cook.

  6. Roast for 1½-2 hours, or until the duck is cooked through and the potatoes are tender and golden-brown.

  7. Meanwhile, for the spiced cranberry apple sauce, bring the apples, cranberries and cider to the boil in a frying pan. Reduce the heat until simmering and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have burst and the mixture has thickened. Season, to taste, with sugar, if too tart, then pour the sauce into a serving bowl and set aside.

  8. When the duck is cooked, remove it from the oven and set aside to rest for 10 minutes on a serving platter while you cook the cabbage.

  9. Pour enough water into the bottom of a large frying pan to reach 1cm/½in up the sides of the pan. Add half of the butter and bring to the boil. When the butter has melted, add the cabbage and boil until it has just wilted, stirring occasionally. Add the dried cranberries and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until most of the water has evaporated, then season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  10. To serve, spoon the wilted cabbage (drained, if necessary) onto a serving platter and lay the roast duck on top. Serve the potatoes and sauce alongside.


  • 1.5kg/3lb 5oz potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 500ml/18fl oz chicken stock
  • 1 x 2kg/4lb 8oz whole duck, giblets removed
  • 1 clementine, cut in half
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 75g/2½oz butter
  • 1 head Savoy cabbage, leaves shredded
  • 50g/1¾oz dried cranberries
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the spiced cranberry apple sauce

  • 2 Bramley apples, peeled, cores removed, roughly chopped
  • 200g/7oz fresh cranberries
  • 5 tbsp cider
  • 2-3 tbsp caster sugar, to taste

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