Duck Glazed With Honey and Lavender (Or Herbes De Provence)

Total Time
Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins

This is a lush recipe for duck. It tastes very "french", and despite the honey glaze, it isn't too sweet. The lavender or herbes de provence make a nice counterpoint to the flavors. The pan juice is perfect served alongside the duck, to drizzle over the meat at the table. Adapted from

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 4 teaspoons packed fresh lavender blossoms (use the same proportions of herbes de provence, if you can't find lavender) or 3 teaspoons dried lavender flowers (use the same proportions of herbes de provence, if you can't find lavender)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leave
  • 1 12 teaspoons sea salt
  • 14 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
  • 1 (5 1/2 lb) duck (thawed, if frozen)
  • 1 cup canned low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons dry red wine
  • 4 tablespoons honey (I use clover, but if you can find lavender or orange flower honey, it would add additional flavor)
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, finely grind half of the lavender (or herbes de provence), thyme, sea salt, and peppercorns.
  3. Set aside the ground herb rub mix.
  4. Remove excess fat and skin from duck neck and inside cavity.
  5. Remove giblets (reserve liver only).
  6. Thoroughly rinse duck and pat dry with paper towels.
  7. With very sharp paring knife, carefully score duck breast in criss-cross pattern, making sure to cut through skin and fat only (do not cut into the flesh or"meat" of the duck).
  8. Rub herb mix into both inside the cavity and the outside of the duck.
  9. Place liver back into the prepared duck cavity.
  10. Put duck onto rack inside a roasting pan, breast side up and roast for 2 hours (do not baste during initial roasting).
  11. Remove duck from oven and increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  12. Put the duck on a platter and carefully pour pan juices into large glass measuring cup.
  13. Spoon off all but about 1 tablespoon of the clear duck fat into a glass dish and refrigerate to use in other dishes as a sauté medium, for example.
  14. Pour pan juices and the 1 tablespoon of the duck fat back to the roasting pan and add the chicken broth and wine.
  15. Put duck back on the rack in the roasting pan and brush with about half of the honey.
  16. Roast the duck for about 20 minutes, basting at least once with the pan juice/broth/wine mixture.
  17. Remove the duck from the oven and brush with the rest of the honey, then sprinkle the duck about 1 teaspoon of the lavender or herbes de provence and return to the oven to roast about 5 minutes more.
  18. Depending on the size of the duck, it may take a bit longer; it is ready to remove from the oven when a meat thermometer inserted into the innermost duck thigh registers 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
  19. When duck is done, remove from the oven and put it on a platter to rest.
  20. Remove the liver from the duck cavity and mash finely in a small bowl to be used on crackers or small toasted baguette slices.
  21. Pour pan juices from the roaster into a saucepan, making sure to scrape up browned bits.
  22. Add the remaining lavender or herbes de provence to the saucepan, along with salt and pepper to taste and place over medium heat.
  23. Bring the juices to a boil, whisking often, and cook until the sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
  24. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  25. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and serve with sliced duck at the table.
Most Helpful

WOW. One of the best duck recipes I have made. Loved the lavender flavor. For the sauce, I replaced the red wine and 1/4 cup of the broth with ruby port. Delicious! This was a fantastic Christmas dinner, served with Lundberg's Red Rice "Christmas Rice" and roasted asparagus. Thanks for posting this keeper.

Outta Here December 31, 2012

I have to say this is fantastic recipe! I replace turkey with this delicious dish every Thanksgiving every year for the past two years. I have to say that the credit is due to Lizzie for posting this... Original recipe can be found on Williams Sonoma webpage in recipe corner.

architectvs November 19, 2006

I made this for Thanksgiving, using herbes de provence, with a little fresh lavender blossom added, or rather fresh frozen, as the temps turned very very cold recently! The combination of honey and herbs was very nice - it may sound a bit unusual, but really very pleasant. For some reason, although I know I measured carefully, the skin tasted a little bit salty, but it was fine in combination with the meat. The gravy was excellent.

duonyte November 25, 2005