Slow roast honey & sesame duck

Slow roast honey & sesame duck

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 30 mins

More effort

A delicious way to cook duck which is well worth the wait.

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal1144
  • fat89g
  • saturates25g
  • carbs21g
  • sugars18g
  • fibre2g
  • protein61g
  • salt4.83g
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For the duck

  • 1½-2kg/3lb 5oz-4lb 8oz oven-ready duck



    Rich and full of flavour, duck meat is extremely nutritious, with high levels of protein, B…

  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt (see 'Try' below)
  • 4 tbsp clear honey
  • 2 tsp sesame seed

For the red wine sauce

  • 125ml red wine
  • 150ml chicken stock (or water with a small sprinkling of chicken stock cube)
  • knob of butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…


  1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Score the duck breast skin with a sharp knife. This helps release excess fat from the skin as the bird roasts. Season the duck with the sea salt and pepper, then sit it on a rack set in a roasting tray and roast for 1½ hrs. Remove the bird from the oven and pour off the excess fat collected in the tray.

  2. Return the duck to the roasting tray, then spoon 3 tbsp of the honey over to cover the breasts and legs. Roast the duck for a further hr, basting with the honey every 10-15 mins. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top during the final 10 mins of roasting.

  3. Once cooked, remove duck from the roasting tray, and allow it to rest for 10-15 mins. Spoon the remaining tbsp of honey over the duck as it rests.

  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Pour off any excess fat from the roasting tin, leaving behind a couple of tbsp of the honey and duck juices. Heat the roasting tray on top of the stove. Once the contents sizzle and become well caramelised, pour in the red wine, then boil for a few mins to reduce by about a third. Pour in the chicken stock (or water and stock cube), then simmer for several mins, also allowing it to slightly reduce to strengthen the flavour. Finish off the sauce (which is quite loose) with the knob of butter (for thicker gravy see 'Try' below). Season with salt and pepper and strain through a fine sieve, if you like.

  5. Now finsih it in style: Gary say's: I prefer to serve just the half duck on the plate. To do this, remove the duck breasts and legs from the breast bone by cutting either side of the breast bone, following its natural line. Drizzle any excess honey juices over and offer all accompaniments separately.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (12)

fonteyn22's picture

Cooked this for Christmas dinner, and lovely. Very easy to do, and the duck came out moist and tender. I was a bit worried about cooking it on a low temperature for the whole time, so gave it the first 20 minutes on a high heat, and then turned it down, but I am not sure this was necessary, and will try it on the low heat for the whole time the next time I cook it.

I followed the advice of a previous poster, and divided the honey into 4 portions which I spooned on every 15 minutes for the last hour.

Will definitely cook again.

clarkesa's picture

Cooked this tonight 01/01/2013 to toast the New Year. It was delicious, it will become a regular dinner party dish in our house. I followed the recipe without deviation and it was absolutely beautiful, yum yum yum.

neezy1911's picture

forgot to rate it - defo 5*+

neezy1911's picture

oh my goodness - that was so good. Just eaten and it was delumcious. re the comments on burnt honey, i added one tblsn every 15 minutes, rather than the whole lot at the beginning and it worked really well. Duck was very tender and not burnt at all - gas mark 3... honey's not going to burn. Served with gnocchi and green beans... I did the thicker sauce with cornflour and our own homemade wine (which is white).... frankly, a memorable meal (for me at least)

lydiapaiva's picture

Absolutely perfect! Moist, tasty... definitely recommend.

staggros's picture

honey burns too easy, nothing worse than burnt sugar, ruins the whole taste. Tip, baste with honey no longer than half hour from the end. Cook duck from room temperature. Rubbish gary!

katvic's picture

always a bit weary of Gary's recipes as they do go on a bit but this was excellant my mum loved it and she had seconds which she doesn't normally do! vert easy to prep and glorious to eat ask my Ma!

michellehegarty's picture

Cooked this for Christmas dinner it was absolutely gorgeous. Followed the recipe exactly and it came out lovely. The gravy was fantastic too

henry-root's picture

Two problems with this recipe:
1. Using honey will burn at this temperature for an hour
2. If you want it crispy, let the bare duck dry in cold fridge for 2 days before roasting!

aliceayel's picture

Great whole duck recipe, very easy to follow. I added some potatoes cubed and peeled around the duck for the last hour in the oven. They were delicious with honey taste.

hannah_81's picture

This was delicious and surprisingly easy to do.

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