Roasted Duck With Sage & Onion Stuffing & Applesauce

Recipe by wildschwein
READY IN: 3hrs




  • Preheat oven to 220°C.
  • Stuffing:
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan. When the foaming subsides, add the chopped onion. Saute on a gentle heat for around 10 minutes. Cook until translucent, avoid browning.
  • Take pan off heat and add all remaining ingredients.
  • Mix well with your hands to incorporate the egg. If the mixture seems a little too dry, add a touch of water. If too moist, add some more breadcrumbs. It should hold its shape easily.
  • Duck:
  • Cut neck off duckling, and put aside for future use in gravy (below).
  • Put the stuffing inside the cavity of the duck. Close up the flaps of the cavity, securing them with toothpicks.
  • Cover the duck with melted butter, and season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Place the duck breast-side down (to make all the juices run into the breast, making for a more succulent final result) on a rack. Then place rack & duck in a roasting tray.
  • Add a little water to the bottom of the roasting tray to prevent burning.
  • Place tray in oven. Cook at 220°C for 15 minutes.
  • After the 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 180C, and cook for a further 30 minutes.
  • After the 30 minutes, turn duck breast-side up and continue cooking for another 60-70 minutes (still on 180°C), checking on occasion that it does not burn/is not browning too much.
  • Note: While duck is cooking, make your gravy and apple sauce.
  • If duck is getting too brown/dark, reduce heat to 160°C, or cover the extremities of the duck with aluminum foil.
  • At the end of the cooking time, remove duck from oven. Place in a warm spot (perhaps atop an unused part of the stove) and cover with aluminum foil until serving time.
  • Gravy:
  • Chop neck from (above) duckling into pieces with a meat cleaver.
  • Put the pieces of neck and oil in a saucepan over the heat and allow some of the duck fat to render.
  • Add roughly chopped vegetables, herbs, bay leaf, peppercorns, and salt and fry for 20 minutes on medium heat, stirring regularly.
  • After the vegetables and duck neck have achieved a good brown color, add enough water (or stock) to barely cover the contents of pot.
  • Bring slowly to the boil, skimming any scum (bubbly impurities that gather at the surface) that appears.
  • When gravy has come to the boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, and continue to skim scum from time to time. Keep on gentle simmer for as long as possible for the best flavor, adding a touch more water or stock from time to time if needed.
  • When the duck (above) gets close to being cooked, strain the gravy through a fine sieve to remove the vegetables, herbs, etc. Push down hard using the back of a spoon so as to extract as much juice as possible. Discard vegetables (or feed to your chickens/compost heap!).
  • In a clean pan, bring the strained gravy to the boil, stirring occasionally.
  • When gravy has reduced by a third, thicken with cornflour dissolved first in a small amount of cold water (3-4 tablespoons). Make sure to quickly stir gravy once cornflour is added to ensure good dispersion of cornflour & smooth gravy consistency.
  • Season the gravy with salt and pepper according to your personal tastes.
  • You could also add some of the pan juices from the roast duck once it has finished cooking - just stir in well.
  • Apple Sauce:
  • In spaces where duck and gravy are cooking & able to be left alone for a bit, prepare apple sauce.
  • Peel and core the apples. Roughly chop them.
  • Place apples in saucepan with all other ingredients (except lemon juice).
  • Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, cooking until the apples collapse (should take around 30 minutes). Stir frequently to prevent burning/sticking.
  • When cooking has finished, take off heat and add lemon juice. Stir.
  • Serving:
  • Place gravy in a sauce boat.
  • Place apple sauce in a bowl/boat.
  • Carve the duck.
  • Enjoy!
  • This dish is excellent when served with additional accompaniments like roasted new potatoes, pumpkin, minted peas, blanched green beans, honeyed carrots, etc.