Entree | Grocer to Table

Balsamic Cherry Glazed Whole Roasted Duck

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This Balsamic Cherry Glazed Roasted Duck is literally to die for! It is moist and tender and not a bit fatty, which duck tends to be.

Balsamic Cherry Glazed Whole Duck on white platterPin
Balsamic Cherry Duck

If you don’t cook a duck correctly, it can be one of the fattiest meats you will ever eat. Finding a way to render all of the fat, that is literally trapped under the skin is the key.

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Duck gets a bad rap because of the fact that you can literally get 2 cups of fat out of a little roasted duck once it is rendered. Read on to learn about the best ways to render that fat, make the skin crispy, and still have the meat tender and delicious!

What you need

For the duck

  • 6 lb duck
  • large carrot cut into large chunks
  • small onion quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic – crush with the side of your knife
  • large stalk celery with tops cut into large chunks
  • salt
  • pepper

For the stuffing

  • Olive Oil
  • large shallot diced
  • celery diced
  • cornbread crumbled
  • crusty white or wheat bread cubed
  • minced fresh rosemary chopped
  • chopped dill, fresh chopped
  • sage, dried
  • Salt -we use kosher salt or sea salt
  • Pepper – fresh cracked black peppercorns is best
  • Butter – use unsalted butter
  • chicken stock or water. plus or minus
  • dried apricots chopped
  • dried cherries

For cherry sauce

  • cherry preserves
  • Balsamic Vinegar – you could substitute red wine vinegar, if you don’t have balsamic.
  • Salt – we use kosher salt
  • Pepper – freshly cracked black pepper
  • fresh rosemary chopped
  • sage, dried
Browned duck on baking trayPin

How to make it

For duck

  • Wash and dry duck thoroughly, inside and out. Either poke holes into the skin being careful not to pierce the meat or use a sharp knife to score the skin in a crisscross pattern. Season duck inside and outside with salt and pepper. Place onion, celery and carrot in the cavity.
  • Alternately, you can stuff the cavity. If you are using the stuffing to fill the cavity, you don’t need the carrot, onion and celery. We like our stuffing crispy, so I make mini muffin cups, instead.
  • Place on roasting pan that has a wire rack, breast side down.
  • Bake at 300°F for one hour. Carefully remove the duck from the oven and flip it over so that it is breast side up. Bake again for another hour and repeat the process 2 more times, so that it cooks for the last hour breast side up. The last 45 minutes, or so brush with the cherry balsamic glaze.
  • Let rest for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

For the stuffing

  • Soften the shallots and celery in olive oil in a small saute’ pan. Add rosemary and sage and saute’ just for a few more minutes.
  • Place butter and water or stock in a separate small saucepan. Bring to a boil then turn of heat, to melt the butter.
  • Meanwhile, prepare bread and place in a large bowl.
  • When the vegetables are soft, place them in with the bread.
  • Place all the rest of the ingredients, except apricots and cherries, to the bowl with bread crumbs. I usually add 3/4 of the water or stock in and add enough more to make it desired wetness. You don’t want it soggy, but evenly moist.
  • Add apricots and cherries and just mix to combine.
  • If you want to stuff the bird, do this first. If you are doing stuffing muffins, Spray two mini muffin tins with non stick spray. Fill with stuffing.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes, the last hour the bird is in.
sliced duck with gravy on white platePin

For the glaze

  • Use to same pan you melted the butter in. Place all of the ingredients in the pan. Stir it well with a wooden spoon until cherry jam melts. If needed, use a whisk to break up jam and produce a smooth sauce.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to very low, simmer for 30-60 minutes until thick.

Pro tips for a crispy skin and juicy, tender meat

  • Either score breast side and back side with a very sharp kitchen knife in a crisscross pattern or poke holes in skin with a sharp skewer. Take care not to score the meat under the side.
  • Cook it low and slow and flip the bird over every hour. Start with the breast side down in a roasting pan with a rack. After one hour, flip it so that it is breast side up. Do this two more times (a total of 4 hours).
  • USDA suggests cooking duck to 165°F / 75°C. We find this is too done for us. We usually cook to 135°F / 60°C. This will produce a medium rare doneness.
  • Be sure to let the bird rest, tented with aluminum foil for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
  • Check for doneness about 30 minutes before the four hour mark with an instant-read thermometer.

How to properly slice duck

  • Remove the duck breasts from the bone by following the rib cage, very close to the bone.
  • Using a very sharp knife, place the breast skin side down on a cutting board.
  • Slice the meat about ¼ inch / .6 cm thick, against the grain of the meat.
sliced duck breast with mushroomsPin

More recipes that use cherries

Roast duck is a good source of proteins, selenium, iron, zinc and B vitamins. Roasting the duck in this fashion, renders it much more healthy, due to the release of all of the fat underneath the skin!

Other great duck recipes

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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today.

Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

Binky's signature
Whole duck smothered in cherry sauce.Pin

Balsamic Cherry Glazed Whole Duck

Delicious, juicy but not greasy duck!
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5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 700kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $15

Ingredients

For Duck

  • 6 pound duck
  • 1 large carrot cut into large chunks
  • 1 small onion quartered
  • 1 large stalk celery with tops cut into large chunks
  • salt
  • pepper

For the Stuffing

  • 2 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 1 large shallot diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 3 cup cornbread crumbled
  • 2 cup crusty white or wheat bread cubed
  • 2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dill, fresh chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage, dried
  • 2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 2 tablespoon Butter
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock or water. plus or minus
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries

For Glaze

  • 3/4 cup cherry preserves
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1/8 tsp sage, dried

Instructions

For Duck

  • Wash and dry duck thoroughly, inside and out. Either poke holes into the skin being careful not to pierce the meat or use a sharp knife to score the skin in a crisscross pattern. Season duck inside and outside with salt and pepper. Place onion, celery and carrot in the cavity.
  • Alternately, you can stuff the cavity. If you are using the stuffing to fill the cavity, you don’t need the carrot, onion and celery. We like our stuffing crispy, so I make mini muffin cups, instead.
  • Place on roasting pan that has a wire rack, breast side down.
  • Bake at 300°F for one hour. Carefully remove the duck from the oven and flip it over so that it is breast side up. Bake again for another hour and repeat the process 2 more times, so that it cooks for the last hour breast side up. The last 45 minutes, or so brush with the cherry balsamic glaze.
  • Let rest for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

For Stuffing

  • Soften the shallots and celery in olive oil in a small saute’ pan. Add rosemary and sage and saute’ just for a few more minutes.
  • Place butter and water or stock in a separate small sauce pan. Bring to a boil then turn of heat, to melt the butter.
  • Meanwhile, prepare bread and place in a large bowl.
  • When the vegetables are soft, place them in with the bread.
  • Place all the rest of the ingredients, except apricots and cherries, to the bowl with bread crumbs. I usually add 3/4 of the water or stock in and add enough more to make it desired wetness. You don’t want it soggy, but evenly moist.
  • Add apricots and cherries and just mix to combine.
  • If you want to stuff the bird, do this first. If you are doing stuffing muffins, Spray two mini muffin tins with non stick spray. Fill with stuffing.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes, the last hour the bird is in.

For Glaze

  • Use to same pan you melted the butter in. Place all of the ingredients in the pan. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to very low, simmering for 30-60 minutes until thick.
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Notes

If you use the method described above, I guarantee that you will not have a greasy duck! It will be moist, crispy and delicious!
Leftovers can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.
Reheat in microwave or, eat cold. 
Best not to refreeze.

Nutrition

Calories: 700kcal | Carbohydrates: 137g | Protein: 98g | Fat: 284g | Saturated Fat: 96g | Cholesterol: 558mg | Sodium: 3036mg | Potassium: 2088mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 58g | Vitamin A: 4550IU | Vitamin C: 28.4mg | Calcium: 305mg | Iron: 21mg
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20 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I absolutely loved this recipe —both the duck and the stuffing were delicious. Like the suggestion I ended up cooking at 300 for about 3.5 hours and then tenting the duck in foil for 30 min before cutting and it was perfectly cooked. I couldn’t find pure cherry preserves so I used cherry and cranberry preserves for the basalmic reduction and it was still great. I will definitely be making this again! The stuffing perfectly complements the flavor of the duck. A totally winning recipe.

  2. Looks awesome! For the balsamic, are you using a top-shelf aged balsamic that costs and arm and a leg, a standard grocery store balsamic, one of the syrupy sweet balsamic products, or something else. There’s such variability with balsamic vinegar. I don’t want to overshoot with a high end product but definitely want the duck to turn out as delicious looking as the one pictured.

    1. Hi Dave! Thanks for your comment! I did not use a top shelf balsamic! I used a Balsamic Vinegar of Modena with 2 leaves in the Leaves System. “Two leaves means lightly concentrated density – great for salads dressings and marinades”, according to the bottle. I purchased it at a local grocer. I hope that helps!

  3. “…hi, my name is Sarah and I’ve never made duck before.” Does that make me a complete failure?? Hopefully not! But, thankfully, this recipe looks easy enough to make that I think I can do it successfully! Thanks so much for sharing!!

    1. Hi Sarah! It really is easy. It takes quite a while but most of it isn’t active cooking time! And certainly not a failure! Last year was the first time I attempted it!

  4. I know I’ve never cooked duck, and I’m not even sure I’ve ever eaten it, but man this sounds great! Full of flavor and it looks yummy!

  5. I’ve only had duck a few times in my life. My Mom made it several times growing up, but I don’t think nothing like this. The cherry glaze sounds great!

    1. Thank you so much Stephanie! The glaze is really super! It is sweet yet tangy! It pairs very well with the duck!

  6. I totally need to make this one day! Grilled ofcourse! I love duck especially the breast is superb! Nice plating you did there! Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe! Will share!

    1. Thanks, so much Simon! I actually loved the fuzzy navel duck we did last year one the grill too! Fantastic!

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