Roast Duck with Caramelised Apple Vinegar

Roast Duck with Caramelised Apple Vinegar

An easy roast duck with crispy skin rubbed with Christmas inspired spices and accompanied with Morella Groves caramelised apple vinegar. Easy to make, easy on the wallet, and a fabulous centrepiece for any festive gathering. Unlike other poultry, duck reheats really well - it remains juicy and the skin crisps up wonderfully as well. So this recipe is great to make ahead.


  • 1 whole duck (around 2 - 2.5 kg) (if frozen, it must be thawed) (Note 1)
  • 1 onion (brown, yellow or white), unpeeled and quartered
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 whole head of garlic , cut in half horizontally
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp All Spice powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 10 grinds black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth/stock (or duck broth, which is better but harder to find)
  • 1/2 cup Morella Grove Caramelised Apple Vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Few handfuls of rocket leaves
  • 1 pomegranate , halved OR cut apples


  • Preheat oven to 210C/410C.
  • Place the onion, garlic and water in a baking dish, then place a rack on top.
  • Rinse the duck under water, including inside the cavity. Use paper towels to pat dry. Or, if you have the foresight, rinse it the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight, uncovered, to dry out.
  • Place the Spice Rub in a small bowl and mix to combine.
  • Slather the Spice Rub all over the skin of the duck (not inside). Use most of it on the top and sides.
  • Place duck on the rack and put in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes, then turn down the oven to 180C/350F. The total roasting time (including the initial 20 minutes) should be 40 minutes per 1 kg / 20 minutes per 1 lb of duck.
  • To check if it is done, insert a skewer into the part where the leg meets the breast. If the juice runs clear, it is ready.
  • Remove duck from the oven. Remove duck from the baking tray, loosely cover with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  • Place on a bed of rocket. Scatter with pomegranate seeds / sliced apples and serve with the Caramelised Apple vinegar Drizzle on the side.
  • Pour all the fat, juice, onion and garlic in the baking tray through a sieve placed over a bowl. Use a spoon or potato masher to mush the onion and garlic so you can extract maximum flavour.
  • If there is an excessive amount of fat floating on top of the juices, try to spoon it off (save it for roasting potatoes or vegetables, that stuff is gold!).
  • Pour 1/4 cup of the juices into a small saucepan. Add the caramelised apple vinegar, chicken broth and place over medium heat. Bring to simmer and let it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until it reduces by about 1/4, then remove from the stove.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Also, adjust tartness and sweetness to your taste with more caramelised apple vinegar or white sugar.
  • Serve on the side of the duck.