Perfect Roasted Duck

Perfect Roasted Duck

This recipe works well for all waterfowl, geese included!

Ducks and Geese are both red-meat birds. So while the USDA recommends a final temperature of 165° F for both duck and goose, we agree with our network of chefs who believe their rich breast meat is best served medium-rare, or 145 ° F.

If you plan to follow this recipe to roast a goose, please add 25 minutes to the total roasting time, or you may want to check out our Holiday Goose Recipe.


  • 1  4-6 Duck
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Head of garlic
  • 3 Medium red potatoes (cubed)
  • 1  Medium turnips (cubed)
  • 2  Carrots (chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt


1. Preheat oven to 325 ° F and remove the duck from the fridge. Allow to rest for 30-40 minutes, or until the chill of the refrigerator subsides.
2. Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity. You may also wish to remove the wing tips for presentation, but this is optional.
3. Remove any extra skin at the neck and trim any excess skin around the cavity as well as remove all the fat from the cavity that . Set everything you trim aside if you wish to use in gravy or rendering later.
4. Prick small holes all over the skin being sure not to pierce the meat. This allows the fat a chance to render out during roasting and ensures crispy delicious skin!
5. Generously salt the duck all over both inside and out. Halve the lemon and cut the top off the garlic and place inside the cavity. You may also wish to add other aromatic herbs such as thyme and sage inside the duck. Pat the skin dry before placing it breast side up on the roasting rack.
6. Cube your root vegetables, season with salt and toss with just a bit of olive oil (if you have any duck fat on hand you may wish to use that instead). Add the vegetables to the bottom of your roasting pan.
7. Place the duck in the oven. Now is a good time to start gravy or begin rendering the fat if you’d wish.
8. Roast the duck for 30 minutes at 325 ° F. After 30 minutes remove the duck from the oven and rest on a cutting board. Turn the oven up to 450°F. when the oven is ready return the duck to roast for an additional 10 minutes to crisp the skin.
9. Remove from oven and let the birds rest. You’ll only need 5 minutes resting time for small birds, 10 minutes for large ducks, and 15 for geese.
10. Slice serve and enjoy!

We’d love to hear from you! Leave your comments and questions below.

*Ducks and Geese are both both considered waterfowl, which is a branch of the poultry family. However unlike other poultry, including chickens and turkeys, ducks and geese are red-meat birds. They do not carry the same risk factors for salmonella that chickens do and we think their breast meat is best enjoyed when cooked medium-rare, 145°F.

If you elect to cook your entire duck or goose to 165°F (the temperature recommended by the USDA), please remember that both duck and goose meat is red not white, and it will remain pink even when it is completely safe to eat. If duck or goose is over cooked it may acquire an undesired livery flavor, so be careful not to over cook. Happy eating!

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