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    Roast Duck with Thyme and Orange-Roasted Pumpkin

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    Roast Duck with Thyme and Orange-Roasted Pumpkin

    Fruit goes well with duck because it is such a rich meat; it's delicious, for instance, with preserved cherries. This dish makes the most of the classic combination of duck and orange. The flavour and colour of the fruit are echoed in the pumpkin accompaniment, making this a truly stunning dish.

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus overnight drying
    • Cooking time: 165 minutes
    • Total time: 3 hours and 5 minutes, plus overnight drying 25 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 2.2kg oven-ready duck
    • 20ml Cointreau
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 3 salad onions, thinly sliced
    • Juice of 1 orange
    • Thyme- and orange-roasted pumpkin
    • 1.5kg pumpkin
    • 1½ tbsp olive oil
    • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves only, plus extra to garnish
    • Finely grated zest of 1 large orange


    1. Put the duck into a colander and pour a kettle of boiling water over it: this helps to loosen the fat. Drain the duck and pat dry thoroughly with kitchen paper, inside and out. Brush the duck with the Cointreau: this helps to dry out the skin, giving a crisper finish. To further dry the duck, put it, uncovered, in the fridge and leave for 24 hours.
    2. When you are ready to roast the duck, preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Put the duck on a rack in a roasting tin. Roast for 45 minutes then turn down the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2. Continue cooking for 2 hours or until the meat is practically falling off the bone and the skin is really crisp. Remove from the oven and transfer to a warm plate. Rest for 5-10 minutes.
    3. While the duck is roasting, prepare the pumpkin: halve it, scoop out the seeds, then slice the pumpkin into thin wedges. Place on a shallow roasting tray and drizzle over the olive oil, thyme leaves and orange zest, and season. Put in the oven with the duck for the last 20 minutes of its cooking time. While the duck is resting, turn up the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6 and continue roasting the pumpkin for about 10 minutes until the flesh begins to caramelise.
    4. Shred the duck meat and skin away from the carcass. Toss the meat in the orange juice, mixed with any duck juices left on the plate. Season. Arrange the roasted pumpkin on a serving platter. Add the shredded duck and scatter with the orange segments and the salad onions and serve, garnished with extra thyme. Sautéed potatoes are a good additional accompaniment.

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