Roasted Duck With Sage & Onion Stuffing & Applesauce

"This recipe for duck makes for a very tender bird, with stacks of flavor. The apple and sage compliment the richness of duck well, while the gravy is just simply transcendental. You'll be licking your chin eating this one! :)"
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Ready In:




  • 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.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Have not made it yet... looking at this recipe for Thanksgiving Duck! Anyway I just noticed that the temperatures are in Celsius, the duck wait in kg - but all the other measurements are cups, tablespoons, etc. Just wondering why - yes I can convert Celsius but it threw off my thoughts on preparation until I realized the disconnect.
  2. I didn't follow this recipe for my duck or stuffing, but this was a great gravy recipe
  3. I use this stuffing & gravy for my roast chicken all the time now. The stuffing is so delicious - so much better than a packet mix & it's really quick & easy to make. I'd love to give the rest of your recipe a crack one day... not sure the fussy hubi would appreciate it though! One day...
  4. Used this recipe,for everything! The stuffing was amazing,the Apple sauce, was very good, but I would use only 1 TBLS of lemon juice,, the gravy was excellent!Cooking process was the only thing that was not right!
  5. Followed recipe with exception of browning skin in fry pan first to allow the fat to render and skin to become crisp.<br/>This the first time I've ever cooked duck (used it for a dinner party), and it was a fabulous success.<br/>The applesauce has a unique flavour and really sealed the deal. Everyone went back for seconds till there was none left.


  1. Applesauce - well I can never actually follow a recipe, generally just look for guidance - here's the Mid-Atlantic tweak - local apples (not green - used Fuji) maple syrup instead of honey, turbinado sugar - made it with the Instant Pot pressure cooker on 10 minutes (no lemon) and voila - Chunky Applesauce the Hubby liked - will remember come Hannukah fo for the latkes.
  2. Less lemon juice in the Apple sauce, didn't use garlic at all in the gravy.


<img src=""> I love cooking. I enjoy organic gardening and finding new ways to use my homegrown produce. I have a good knowledge of a number of regional cuisines, particularly australian, italian, german, american, chinese, indonesian, and japanese foods. I also have an extensive knowledge and experience in vegetarian cuisine. My partner and I absolutely love cooking together, and make a lot of our own jams, pickles, preserved fruit and vegetables, sauces, stocks, dried herbs, and icecream toppings!
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