Christmas Duck with Cherry Sauce

Christmas Duck with Cherry Sauce

Cook Time
90 min


Preheat oven to 200°C/180C fan/gas mark 6 with the oven rack in the lower middle position. Trim and discard excess fat around neck cavity. Dry the skin of the duck well with kitchen paper and using a metal or wooden skewer, prick the skin all over to help the fat to render taking care not to pierce the meat.

Stir together the brown sugar, salt and crushed juniper berries in a small bowl. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the mixture inside cavity of duck, and rub remaining mixture over skin. Let duck stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Place the duck sitting on a rack (if you have one) in a large roasting tin. Roast the duck for 40 minutes then remove from the oven and spoon out as much fat as you can before returning it to the oven. Roast for a further hour until deep golden and cooked through. Cover with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Pour water to a depth of 2cm in a large baking pan, and place on lowest oven rack. Remove from the oven and drain and discard cavity juices, drippings and water in the pan. Increase the oven temperature to 220°C. When the oven is ready, return the duck to the middle oven rack. Roast until skin is dark and crisp, about 20 minutes. Allow to rest for 20 minutes while you make the sauce.

Put the stock, cherry jam, port and red wine vinegar in a small pot and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes then add the cherries. Simmer for another 5 minutes until the sauce has reduced a bit further. Remove from the heat and gradually drop in the diced butter, swirling to melt and incorporate into the sauce. Serve with the carved duck along with duck fat roast potatoes and vegetables.

*Duck Fat Roast Potatoes

Par cooking the potatoes softens the edges allowing them to absorb more fat which in turn makes the outside golden and very crispy. When cooked, sprinkle immediately with Irish sea salt flakes…perfect!

Preheat the oven to 200c/ 180c fan/ gas 6. Cut the potatoes into halves or quarters if very big so you have even sized chunks. Put in a pot and just cover with water and add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a vigorous boil then lower the heat and cook uncovered for 3 minutes exactly. Put a roasting tin in the oven with the duck fat and allow to heat while you time the potatoes. Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain well. With the lid on, give the pot a good shake to roughen up the potato edges. Take the hot roasting tin from the oven and tumble in the potatoes. Turn each one to coat in duck fat and put back in the oven. Roast for 45 minutes turning every 15 minutes to get crisp and golden all over. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and serve straight away.


1 Silver Hill Fresh Whole Duck

2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon of salt

1 tablespoon of juniper seeds, finely crushed



250ml chicken stock

60ml port

2 tablespoons of cherry conserve/jam

2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

200g cherries, halved and pitted

40g cold unsalted butter, in small dice


*Duck Fat Roast Potatoes

1kg Rooster potatoes, peeled

100g Duck Fat

Irish sea salt flakes, to serve

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