Try our roast duck with sherried shallots, then check out five-spice roast duck with clementines and port, roast duck with layered potato cake and spring onion, radish and watercress salad and more duck recipes.

Not just for pancakes, duck has a rich, gamey flavour that’s perfect for winter warming dishes with festive flair. One duck will feed two hungry people or three with other dishes. They tend to be a lot fattier than chicken, so need a slower and lower cook to render the fat and baste the meat as it cooks.

Roast duck with sherried shallots recipe


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp chinese five-spice powder
  • 2kg whole duck
  • 3 star anise
  • 400g long shallots, trimmed and peeled
  • 200ml sweet sherry (Pedro Ximénez or similar)
  • 1 small handful of thyme sprigs
  • mashed potatoes or roast potatoes and greens, to serve


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Mix the oil with the five spice and rub all over the duck. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Heat a large flameproof casserole or ovenproof frying pan over a high heat and sear the duck all over until golden brown, holding it with a pair of tongs to help you. Transfer to a plate.

  • STEP 2

    Add the star anise and shallots to the dish, and cook for a few minutes until the shallots start to caramelise. Pour in the sherry, thyme and 100ml of water, and bubble for a minute. Nestle the duck back into the dish, and roast for 1 hr, spooning some of the sherry over the duck a few times during cooking.

  • STEP 3

    Turn up the heat to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and cook for another 5-10 mins or until the duck is golden, glazed and crisp-skinned. Transfer the duck and shallots to a platter, cover with foil and rest for 20 mins.

  • STEP 4

    Fish out the thyme sprigs and star anise. Leave the liquid for a few minutes to settle. Skim off the duck fat (use this to flavour the potatoes), then simmer for a few minutes if it’s still a little thin to reduce to a light gravy. Carve the duck, serve with the shallots and pour over the sherry roasting juices. Serve with mash or roasties and buttered greens.

Discover roast dinner recipes for a casual Sunday or Christmas celebration.

Sliced roast beef next to roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings and greens

Alternative ways with shallots


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