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Cooking With Wine - Roast Duck


Welcome to our blog series on cooking with wine in which we continue our culinary adventure with a delicious Roast Duck. Summertime is cherry time so it’s perfect timing to make this dish. If you like cherries and rich juicy flavours, you’ll also love this recipe.

Before we begin, there’s one thing that we find really handy and that’s to know a few things up front. First, how long will it take to prep, cook, set aside, refrigerate, etc. before it’s ready to eat? Second, how many people will it serve? Lastly, the grocery list.


Nice to know details

As a general rule, set aside the following times:

  1. 15-20 minutes preparation
  2. 2 and ¼ hours cooking
  3. ¼ hour resting
  4. Serves 6 people


Grocery List

  • 1/3 cup of sundried cherries
  • 1 shallot (chopped to make 3 tablespoons)
  • 6 pound duck
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ground pepper
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 bottles of Merlot
  • 1 tablespoon of dried parsley
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary


Reconstitute the Cherries

To reconstitute the 1/3 cup of dried cherries

  • Place them in a bowl
  • Add boiling water to cover
  • Soak them until they are plump


Prepare the duck

Using a fresh or fully thawed whole duck at room temperature

  • Remove the giblets from the cavity and set aside
  • Rinse both the inside and outside of the duck with cold water
  • Pat it dry with paper towels and place it on a board
  • Using a sharp knife, score the skin in a diamond pattern but be sure not to cut all the way through it
  • The pattern should be approximately 1 inch wide
  • Using the tip of the knife, poke into the most fatty parts of the skin so fat will be released during roasting
  • The skin on the legs is thin so it doesn’t need any poking
  • Season both the inside and outside of the duck generously with 2 tablespoons of salt
  • Place breast side up
  • Roughly chop 5 garlic cloves and place them in the cavity
  • Slice 1 lemon and place slices in the cavity
  • Fold the skin flaps on each end and secure them to the duck
  • Tie the legs together with twine


Roasting the Duck

Just to be safe, it’s a good idea to have an extra bottle of the Merlot you’re using in the recipe. You might want to have a few sips during the cooking stage. Also, you’ll need a bottle to be served with dinner!

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Place 1 cup of Merlot in a Dutch Oven
  • Add 3 tablespoons of chopped shallots
  • Place the duck breast side up in the Dutch Oven
  • Roast uncovered for 1 hour
  • Remove from the oven and carefully flip the duck over
  • Add 1 more cup of Merlot
  • Roast uncovered for 30 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and carefully flip the duck over
  • Dust with a little more salt plus 1 tablespoon of fresh ground pepper
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of dried parsley overtop
  • Baste with the wine and juices
  • Drain the reconstituted cherries and add them to the Dutch Oven
  • Roast uncovered for 30 minutes
  • Remove from oven and carefully transfer duck to a plate
  • Remove the garlic and lemon from the cavity and discard them
  • Let the duck stand for 15 minutes
  • Pour the cherry and wine sauce into a small serving bowl



  • Carve the duck
  • Garnish with fresh rosemary
  • Serve with roast potatoes and your favourite rainbow of vegetables
  • Allow your guests to indulge in the cherry sauce to their taste



We recommend serving this meal with a bottle of your very own DIY craft red wine. It’s always best to serve the same wine used during cooking. This always helps to enhance both the flavours in the dish and also the wine.



  • If you’re using a frozen duck, be sure to defrost it in the refrigerator for 2 days
  • To get the duck to room temperature, take it out of the fridge for 30 minutes
  • Remember to remove the giblets before cleaning and roasting the duck
  • You can roast the giblets in the bottom of the Dutch Oven or save them for another recipe
  • Place some rosemary in the cavity with the lemon and garlic for even more wonderful flavours
  • After 1 hour of roasting, you can add bell peppers, carrots onions and potatoes to the Dutch Oven
  • For the last 30 minutes of roasting, you may want to cover the legs and wings with foil so they don’t get overcooked
  • You can substitute the dried parsley with dried mint which will add some deliciousness to the duck


We hope you enjoy this Cooking With Wine – Roast Duck recipe.

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