1 duck

100g butter, softened

1tbsp brown sugar

4 oranges, two zested finely

2tsp ground cloves

1 bunch thyme, broken into sprigs

4 onions, cut into wedges

1/2 cup (125 millilitres) sweet vermouth or brandy



  1.  Preheat oven to 220°C.

  2. In a bowl, combine butter, sugar, finely grated rind of 2 oranges and cloves. Season to taste.

  3. Wash duck and dry with paper towel. Use fingertips or scissors to ease skin away from duck. Rub spiced butter under skin.

  4. Quarter 1 orange. Place into cavity with half of thyme. Close cavity and seal with a skewer.

  5. Season skin with salt. Roast duck for 10mins at 220°C and then turn your oven down to 180°C for the remainder of the cooking time. After 40 minutes, add the onion and remaining thyme. Carry on roasting until the duck is cooked, when testing with a skewer the juices will run clear.

  6. Rest, covered, for 10 minutes before carving. Drain juices from roasting pan, reserving 1/4 cup.

  7. Heat reserved juices, onion, thyme, juice from 2 oranges and the alcohol. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

  8. Peel and segment remaining oranges and stir through sauce. Pour over roast duck and serve.
Great sides to this dish would be mashed butternut, duck fat roasted potatoes and a salad.

It is important to check what the cooking time should be for your duck otherwise it can become very tough and dry. Use the guideline below to get an idea on time/weight.

Size of Duck40 mins / kg
1.6 kg1hr 5 mins
1.8 kg1 hr 10mins
2.0 kg1 hr 20 mins
2.2 kg1 hr 30 mins
2.4 kg1 hr 35 mins