Slow-roasted duck with sage and ginger

Slow-roasted duck with sage and ginger

At Home with Ben
Mark Roper

Duck is one of my favourite poultry, and slow roasting is a sure-fire way of getting the best out of your bird. Due to the fatty nature of its skin, the meat stays moist even when well cooked. Using a whole bird will give you bones for making duck stock and leftover meat for other meals, extending your family budget.

If you don’t have a roasting tray large enough to hold the two ducks, you could use a large bamboo steamer instead. This dish is lovely served with some steamed spinach and white bean purée.


Quantity Ingredient
2 x 1.8kg ducks, neck and giblets removed
100ml brandy
5cm knob of ginger
6 garlic cloves, smashed with skin on
bunch sage, leaves picked and stems reserved
1 tablespoon salt
100ml sunflower oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Trim the excess fat from around the ducks’ cavities, as well as from the neck areas. Rinse the cavities with the brandy.
  3. Chop half the knob of ginger and place in the ducks’ cavities, along with the garlic and reserved sage stems.
  4. Place a wire rack on the bottom of a large roasting tin; it needs to be big enough to hold the two ducks. Fill the tin with boiling water so it comes to below the top of the rack. Place the birds on top of the rack, cover with foil and place in the oven to roast for 1 hour.
  5. Remove the ducks from the oven. Pour off and reserve the meat juices that have collected in the roasting tin. Use a table knife to scrape away the fat cells that have formed on the skin, and soak up the excess fat with paper towels.
  6. Place half the sage leaves and the salt in a mortar and pound with a pestle to a paste. Rub this all over the ducks.
  7. Return the ducks to the roasting tin, breast-side down on the rack but without any water in the tin. Reduce the oven to 160°C and roast for a further hour.
  8. After an hour, turn the ducks over and roast for a further 30 minutes. By this stage the legs should be very tender and the breasts well done but still moist, as the fat will have rendered and basted the meat during the cooking process. Remove the ducks to a carving board to rest.
  9. Make a gravy by slowly simmering the reserved meat juices in a pan on the stovetop until reduced by half or three-quarters, skimming off any excess fat from the surface.
  10. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Finely slice the remaining ginger into very thin slices and fry until golden brown and crisp. Remove and drain on paper towel. Add the remaining sage leaves to the pan, and fry until crisp. Drain on paper towel.
  11. Carve the duck breasts from the bone and separate the legs. Serve the duck with the gravy, garnished with the sage and ginger.

At Home with Ben
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again