Roast Duck

Valentine’s day is around the corner and if you are looking for a decadent, indulgent treat for your significant other look no further. Of course if you are single, don’t be upset rather consider this as a cooking project to treat yourself, let’s all agree that some days we just need to be a little indulgent . This dish is easy to cook but requires a little planning. The key to a good roast duck is crispy skin, majority of the flavor of the duck is in the skin! Compared to other poultry like chicken or turkey duck has an intensely rich flavor and trumps others simply for it’s skin. So, the key is to get the fat out of the skin and flavor in to it. Buy the duck two days in advance, let is thaw naturally . Then remove the excess fat around the neck to be used later , giblets and wings use it for stock later. Pat the duck dry and salt it for a day to ensure complete removal of moisture from the skin. The less moisture the skin has, the crispier it will be!

A bit of a secret, the garam masala spice blend I have used is home made and a family recipe! Typical Ingredients for a garam masala that you get in the grocery stores are black peppercorns, mace, cinnamon, cloves, brown cardamom, nutmeg, and green cardamom. However this is a lot simpler, it uses only cinnamon, green cardamom  and cloves, that’s it! The proportion is roughly 40% cinnamon, 40% green cardamom and 20% cloves roasted then run in a grinder ; it is advisable to make in bulk and store for later use.Duck is a rather rich meat hence a honey glazed laced with chili flakes balances the crispy aromatic skin fat.

Garam Masala Roast Duck with Chili Honey Glaze

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Serving Size: 4


  • 1 whole duck not more than 4.5-5 pounds, giblets removed and wings snapped
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Zest of 1 whole lemon and 1 whole tangerine
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 2 tablespoons honey with a pinch of chili flakes
  • Fresh rosemary and thyme
  • Roasting vegetables : carrots, onions, celery and leek or any combination of your choice


  • In a mortar pestle add the salt and pepper, zest of lemon and tangerine and grind to make a dry rub. Remove the duck from the fridge 1 hr before roasting so that it comes to room temperature. Score the duck skin ,and then rub the spice blend to ensure the flavors have evenly been injected in the skin.
  • Season the cavity of the duck. Halve the lemon and tangerine and fill the cavity of the duck with the lemon and tangerine, along with a couple of sprigs of thyme and rosemary.
  • In a roasting pan arrange the roasting veggies , season with salt pepper and a dash of olive oil. Place the duck breast side up on the pan. Pre heat oven to 180 C/350 F , roast the duck for 1 hr. Remove from the oven, drain the excess fat and store it for later use. Duck fat is amazing for cooking eggs and potatoes!
  • Place the duck on board and glaze with the chili honey using a brush evenly on all sides. Return the duck breast side down and cook for a further 45 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, but do not start carving it is essential you rest it at least for 30 minutes before your start carving, cover with a tin foil loosely.
  • Remove the lemon, tangerine and herbs from the cavity , carve the duck and serve the roasted veggies separately.

Garam Masala Roast Duck with Chili Honey Glaze

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