Roast duck two ways with spiced clementine sauce

Roast duck two ways with spiced clementine sauce

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(8 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 1 hr, 40 mins Ready in 1 hour 40 mins plus marinating

More effort

Christmas dinner for two? Forget having to carve a whole duck and enjoy this meltingly soft, crispy skinned leg and breast meat version instead

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal834
  • fat48g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs38g
  • sugars35g
  • fibre0g
  • protein63g
  • salt1.14g
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  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch ground allspice
  • 6 or so thyme sprigs, left whole


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • zest 2 clementines, juice of 4



    The smallest and sweetest variety of tangerine is sweet and tangy, contains no seeds and is…

  • 1 large duck breast with skin on



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

  • 2 duck legs

For the sauce

  • 50g light muscovado sugar
  • 100ml sherry vinegar
  • 150ml good chicken stock
  • knob of butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…


  1. Mix the spices, thyme and zest. Slash the skin of the breast, cutting through the fat but not into the meat, then rub the spice mix over the breast and legs. Leave for at least 2 hrs, or for up to 24 hrs in the fridge.

  2. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Put the legs into an ovenproof frying pan or smallish roasting tin, season well, then roast for 1½ hrs until deep golden and crisp. Sit the legs on a plate, then keep warm in a low oven or let cool. Spoon off excess fat from the pan juices and keep it for the next time you make roasties. Pull the meat and skin from the legs, shred using 2 forks, then mix together. Keep warm or, if making ahead, reheat in a hot oven for 10 mins before serving.

  3. Put the pan back on the hob, add the sugar for the sauce and let it melt and turn dark golden. Add the vinegar (the sugar might turn hard at this point but don’t worry as it will dissolve again), then reduce by about half. Tip in the clementine juice and almost all the stock and bubble again until reduced and syrupy. Whisk in the butter, then season to taste.

  4. Heat a frying pan, then cook the breast, skin-side down, for 10-12 mins until very crisp and the fat has run out. Turn over, fry for another 5 mins for just pink (or longer if you prefer), then lift onto a plate and rest, uncovered, for 10 mins. Spoon off remaining fat, add the leftover stock to the pan, then stir to dissolve any tasty, meaty bits. Add to the sauce.

  5. Slice the breast on the diagonal, then divide half of the leg meat between 2 warm plates in small piles (you can use a cutter or ring if you like, to make it neater). Top with slices of breast. Spoon the sauce over the meat and serve with glazed veg and potatoes.

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Comments, questions and tips

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FamilyLee's picture
9th Jan, 2019
I made this for Christmas dinner for 2 adult and 2 children, so doubled the quantities. The meat was flavoursome enough after leaving in the fridge overnight, but with the addition of the sauce it was outstanding! Like a previous poster, I worried about the sauce being too vinegary but once reduced it was fine. I served with spiced red cabbage, roast potatoes (roasted with the duck fat taken from cooking the legs earlier in the day) and brussel sprouts with chestnuts. I'll definitely make this again.
ThomLeigh's picture
24th Apr, 2017
Pop this with some neeps and tatties and you will be lovely, check me out on instagram benjib_27
21st Dec, 2013
Cooked this for 6 last night as a special family meal. Superb. Could not get any duck legs , so cheated by getting a 1/2 aromatic crispy duck from a supermarket, cooked that as per instruction on packet and shredded it, kept it warm in the oven whilst followed the rest of this recipe. (saved pancakes and hoisin sauce for another day) The sauce in this recipe is awesome, and breasts done perfectly. (cannot comment on legs) I found that 4 breasts were enough for 6 people together with the shredded duck, lovely combination. No fiddling with bones! Served it with roast potatoes, shredded red cabbage, carrots & greens. Will definitely make again
17th Dec, 2013
I doubled this - the legs then took 2h 30mins and it was fantastic. The sauce I was concerned would be too vinegary but as it reduced it changed flavour and was a great sucess. Will definatley make next year.
17th Dec, 2013
This is a fantastic recepie, I doubled it and cooked it for 4. I was concerned that the legs would not have crispy skin as it did take 2.30hour to cook the legs in the oven, but I added them into the frying pan when doing the duck breast and it was fantastic, nothing was overcooked and I would definatley have this when my husband and I have christmas together. I was concerned about the sauce as it did smell very vinegary but as it reduced down it took on a different taste and was fantastic! Will definatley do again.
16th Oct, 2012
Yummy!!! Only used duck legs as this was just a mid week supper but the duck was tasty and moist and the skin crispy. Used a ring to keep the meat together just before serving. Also thickened the sauce a little more with cornflour which made it much more intense. Also as this was a 'leftovers' dinner I used an orange rather than the clementines. Serves with dauphinoise potatoes and steamed tenderstem broccoli and carrots. with the duck breast on top would defo make a great dinner party menu. Will do again.
25th Feb, 2012
We did a variation on this as we only had duck legs. It was the best duck recipe I have followed & the skin of the duck was very tasty & crisp. We added a couple of star anise as we had them & served it with olive oil roasted potatoes with sea salt & spinach. The sauce was perfect & would go well with pork too. Will definitely make this again & will splash out on a breast to do it properly next time.
18th Jan, 2009
I absolutely loved this dish and probably served it with more sauce than suggested but the clementine sauce was delicious! Would definately do it again
26th Dec, 2008
I cooked this for Christmas day and it was absolutely delicious. I was finding it difficult to locate duck legs but found some on Christmas eve in sainsburys. Just aswell because i had contemplated making this with just 2 duck breasts but you definitely need leg and breast! Nicest duck i have ever tasted.
20th Dec, 2008
Really fancied this for Christmas Day, did a trial run this week, delicious!!! So much nicer than turkey! More than enough for 2 but so good we ate the lot!
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