This Easy Roasted Duck with Plum Sauce will walk you through how to prepare a delicious duck AND save the rendered fat for future cooking!
I absolutely LOVE roasting the occasional duck. Not only does it help mix up our protein rotation even more, but a duck always feels so special AND you get the added bonus of all the rendered duck fat for future cooking! I’ve roasted several ducks now and have learned a few important things. First, it’s worth your time to consider a brine. For this duck recipe, I wanted it to be as simple as possible. As such, we’re opting for a dry brine. The alternative, a wet brine, is also simple (enough), but requires a bucket or something large enough to submerge the bird. That equipment requirement alone could turn a few folks off and that is NOT what we’re about here. I want you ALL to feel invited to this duck party! It’s easier than it looks and you will be left with a delicious meal plus bonus cooking fat. WELL worth the investment.
If you don’t have a source for duck, US Wellness Meats is where I’ve gotten a few in the past and have always been really happy with the quality!
To prepare our easy roasted duck, we’re going to first let it defrost THEN rub it down with a good amount of salt (for the dry brine). I recommend salting and then putting back in the refrigerator (in a bowl, ideally, in case liquids are released) for 24 to 48 hours.
Next, rinse the duck off completely and then prick the skin all over with a sharp knife. Know that ducks usually have a LOT of fat stored up under their skin. Pricking the skin helps that fat escape as it cooks, allowing the skin to get as crispy as possible.
Rub that now poked duck with additional salt and pepper then bake according to my instructions below!
Note that you can *absolutely* glaze the duck as it cooks, but I tend to opt for a more simple salt + pepper flavoring BECAUSE I don’t want to flavor the rendered duck fat. I can usually get about 2 cups of duck fat from a single duck, which can easily last us a whole month!
For serving this easy roasted duck, I really love a fresh plum sauce like this one here. The recipe is so simple. All you need is about 1 pound of plums that you’ve cooked down in a small sauce pot with a little honey, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Stir and simmer until the plums break down and then you’re done!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and that it helps get a new and delicious protein on your table. If you’re looking for another semi-fancy but EASY dinner for your next occasion you might also love our Herbed Goat Cheese Stuffed Pork Loin!
xo, Cassy Joy
Easy Roasted Duck with Plum Sauce
- 4 to 5 pound duck defrosted and defeathered
For the Brine:
- 1/4 cup sea salt
For the Roasted Duck:
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Plum Sauce:
- 1 pound fresh plums pits removed
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice about 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon honey omit for Whole 30
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives for garnish
- For the dry brine, rub the entire bird (inside and outside the cavity) with the sea salt. Place in a large bowl, to collect any drippings, cover, and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours. Once finished, rinse the duck completely and pat dry.
- Turn oven to 300 F.
- Prick the skin of the duck with a sharp knife all over, focusing especially on the skin over the thick breast tissue.
- Rub the duck with the salt and pepper, place on a roasting pan, cover with foil, and bake at 300 F for 1 1/2 hours.
- Turn oven up to 400 F. Uncover the duck and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F in the thickest part of the breast.
- For the plum sauce, place all the ingredients in a medium-sized sauce pot over medium heat. Cover and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until most of the plums have broken down. Stir to continue breaking down the plums and then set aside off heat until serving. Note: if it looks dry, feel free to add a splash of water until it's at a consistency you like.
- Once the duck is finished cooking, let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes then carve for serving.
- To retrieve the duck fat, use a spoon or baster to siphon the duck fat into a storage container. Store the fat in the refrigerator for future use!
- Serve with chopped chives (if you desire) and the plum sauce.