Easy Roast Duck with Roast Potatoes and Gravy

Roast duck is a really nice alternative to turkey for Christmas, especially if there's just a few of you eating. I roasted a 2kg duck which served four adults. It's surprisingly easy to make, you just need to make sure you prepare your duck properly before you roast it.

I followed the basic advice for roasting and cooking times from the Gressingham website, which I found really helpful. We roasted our potatoes in the fat that came off the duck as well. Wow they are good, but really naughty.

This was the first time I roasted a whole duck but it won't be the last. The whole famliy loved it, despite the strong flavour of the meat. The giblet gravy is particularly good for drowning everything in and well worth making. Enjoy, and hope the step by step pictures are helpful.

Easy Roast Duck with Potatoes and Gravy

  • Time:  20 mins prep + 2 hours cooking
  • Cost:  £3.24 per serving*
  • Calories:  842 per serving*
  • Serves: 4

*based on four sharing a 2kg duck, 1.25kg potatoes and gravy

For the roast duck:

  • 2kg Gressingham Duck with giblets
  • Salt and pepper
  • Few sprigs rosemary, one clementine & garlic cloves to flavour (optional)

For the roast potatoes in duck fat:

  • 1.25 kg maris piper potatoes, peeled and cut into 4cm sized pieces
  • 4 tablespoons duck fat from the roasted duck
  • Salt and pepper
  • Few sprigs rosemary, two clementines & garlic cloves to flavour (optional)

For the gravy:

  • Giblets & neck from the duck, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped roughly, unpeeled
  • 1 carrot, chopped roughly, unpeeled
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, bashed, unpeeled
  • Few sprigs rosemary or thyme
  • Bay leaves (optional)
  • 175ml red wine (replace with stock if you prefer)
  • 500ml hot stock & 500ml hot water
  • 1 tablespoon red currant jelly or cranberry sauce (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons corn-flour dissolved in water to thicken


1. Duck should be at room temperature before you cook it, so take it out of the fridge for one hour before you start to prepare it.

2. Preheat the oven to 220 C / 200 fan / gas mark 7. As duck is very fatty you'll need to roast it on a rack inside a dish, a bit like this one:

3. Take the duck out of it's packaging and pop it on a board. Remove the giblets and neck from the cavity of the duck.

4. Cut off the wing tips (mine didn't have any) and add to the giblet pile. Cut away any large pieces of excess fat from around the cavity and discard.

5. Prick the duck all over with a skewer - particularly between the legs and breasts where it's most fatty. Prick just the skin and not right into the meat - the idea is that as the duck roasts the fat will escape through the skin, but not the meat juices.

6. Season the skin of the duck all over with salt, pepper and the finely grated zest of a clementine (if you like).

7. Cut the clementine in half and insert it into the cavity of the duck along with around four bashed garlic cloves and a few sprigs of rosemary or thyme. You don't have to do this but it does add a wonderful flavour to the duck meat.

8. Now, back to the giblets and neck. Using a sharp knife, chop them up and place them in the bottom of your roasting dish under the rack along with a roughly chopped onion, carrot and 4-6 bashed up cloves of garlic, a few more sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme and a couple of bay leaves if you have them.

9. Place the rack on top of your giblets and vegetables. Place the duck on the rack breast side up and place your dish in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes per 500g plus 20 minutes. For a 2kg duck (like mine) this works out as 1 hour 40 mins.

10. After the duck has been cooking for around 45 minutes, take it out of the oven and spoon a couple of tablespoons of the fat over the duck. Then drain away all the fat that has collected at the bottom of the dish into a bowl.

10. Take the duck out on the rack and place it on another tray to put back in the oven for the remainder of the cooking time. You're going to use the giblet dish to make some lovely gravy.

11. If you want, use the duck fat to make some really fabulous roast potatoes to go with your roast duck. Toss peeled, chopped and par-boiled potatoes in around 4 tablespoons of the duck fat, season with salt and pepper and pop in the oven to roast with the duck. (See crispy roast potatoes for more details.) Add some rosemary, garlic and a couple of halved clementines to your spuds if you like.

12. With the duck and the potatoes roasting in the oven, turn your attention to making the lovely gravy. Take the dish the duck was first roasting in and using a slotted spoon, move all the giblets and veggies into a saucepan. Skim away any remaining duck fat from the top of the meat juices and pour the meat juice only into the pan.

13. Place the dish on the hob and pour in a glass of red wine. Over a medium heat, scrape away any of the brown sticky bits stuck to the bottom of the dish (this has all the lovely flavour) and let them disolve in the wine, stirring all the time.

14. Pour the the contents of the dish into the saucepan along with everything else. Add around half a litre of chicken stock and half a litre of water. Bring to the boil and allow it to simmer gently for 20 - 30 minutes. Drain the gravy and return to the pan with a tablespoon of red currant jelly or cranberry sauce if you have any. Thicken with a tablespoon of cornflour disolved in water and keep warm over a very low heat until ready to serve. See this post for more details of how to make gravy.

15. When the duck has been in the oven for the calculated cooking time, check it is cooked. Use a meat probe insterted into the thickest part of the bird, if it reaches 72 C then it's cooked. If you don't have a meat probe insert a skewer and check the juices run clear.

16. Cover the duck in a double layer of foil and leave it to rest for around 20-30 minutes. This is really important as it will make carving much easier and the meat will taste much better. While the duck rests, turn the oven up if you need to crisp up your potatoes a bit more.

17. When your potatoes are ready, serve your beautiful roast duck with the wonderful gravy. if you want to make it look pretty, place it in the middle of a big platter with all the potatoes all around it. It's delicious beyond belief. 

I would like to say thank you to Gressingham for sending me a selection of their products to try.