Roasted Duck

My Grandma’s Roasted Duck with Apples and Oranges

If you’d ask me what’s my favorite dish. I would answer in a heartbeat – My grandma’s roasted duck, of course! I know that duck is not a typical food here in the US. People rarely cook it at home, and only occasionally order it in their favorite restaurant. For me, it’s an entirely different story. I grew up in Ukraine, and roasted duсk was one of the centerpieces of our holiday table. We had it for Christmas, birthdays, and family gatherings. My grandma was always in charge of it, and she truly mastered that dish to perfection. She roasts it in a dutch oven with apples, herbs, and garlic until the skin gets golden brown and the meat becomes incredibly tender and flavorful. We usually have it with roasted or mashed potato and a couple of simple salads.

Since my husband and I moved to the US, we’ve tasted duck in dozens of restaurants, but it was never quite as good as the one my grandma makes. So I started to make it at home, and guess what< It became my signature dish as well. I might experiment with garnishes and side dishes, but I still use my grandma’s basic recipe because nothing makes me happier than these beloved flavors from my childhood. I even decided to put together a menu with my favorite family dishes and make a pop-up dinner in San Francisco on June 16th. It will be a tribute to all women in my family who always been exceptional home cooks fierce and adventurous.

So here I’m, sharing this simple and rustic Roasted Duck recipe that my granny created decades ago, hoping to encourage you to give it a try.

Grandma’s Roasted Duck

4.50 from 10 votes


  • One 5- to 6-pound organic Maskovy duck
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole mixed peppercorns
  • 1 large orange zested and cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 small bunch of sage
  • 2 big green apples cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 big sweet potatoes – cut into thick wedges optional


  • Rinse duck and pat dry. Remove neck and giblets and save for another purpose. Trim excess fat from cavity and tail area. Prick duck skin all over with the tip of a sharp paring knife, making sure not to penetrate the meat.
  • In a heavy granite, mortar mix the salt, peppercorns, orange zest, and sage. Pound with a pestle until all spices are crushed, and the mixture is well combined.
  • Rub the duck with the aromatic mixture, don’t forget about the cavity, then stuff it with the orange wedges. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or better overnight. When ready to cook, remove the duck from the fridge and bring it to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Lay the bottom of a heavy dutch oven with apple slices and sweet potato wedges. Place the duck in the dutch oven and cover with a lid. Roast the duck for 1 hr 40 min. Then increase the temperature to 400F remove the lid and roast for another 30-35 minutes until the bird is golden brown.
  • Transfer the duck to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve the duck and serve with the roasted apples.
  • Additional Info
  • Serve it with some roasted carrots and creamy polenta.
  • Pingback:Miso and Brown Butter Roasted Onions - Anna Voloshyna
    Posted at 16:38h, 24 November Reply

    […] Squash, but they are also a great fit for the Christmas table. I can easily imagine them with my Grandma’s Duck or splendid roasted […]

  • Romans
    Posted at 13:30h, 29 December Reply

    5 stars
    Dear Anna, thanks for sharing this recipe, the duck turned out fabulous. Your version of the dry rub is worth a special mention – it adds a delicate base note flavour which highlights well the duck. We had it with mashed potatoes (with butter, salt, pepper, grated nutmeg and frothed milk) and a simple green salad, mostly beetroot leaves with cherry tomatoes and an oil balsamic dressing and a pinch of seeds, accompanied with a Rioja Crianza. Well done. Cheers.

    • Anna Voloshyna
      Posted at 17:21h, 29 December Reply

      Thank you so much for your kind words! You did an amazing job!

  • Eliza
    Posted at 16:01h, 31 December Reply

    4 stars
    Hi Anna, thanks for sharing fo sharing this recipe. I made some adjustments using this as a base idea adding in fresh ginger slices and whisky. Our roast duck was tender and delicious, thanks again.

  • Susan Trainor
    Posted at 12:52h, 01 January Reply

    I live on Tilos Greece. Ι am Canadian and have lived in many countries including India.
    I wanted to make a duck that had great flavour, not dry but simple. I also love to cook with my creuset.
    Your recipe was fantastic!!!!!
    My friend of Vietnamese origin loved it. Which for me was a compliment.

    My addition: I heated the juices until dry and deglazed with Grand Marnier and had a delicious sauce.
    I will share this recipe with friends and Family!

    • Anna Voloshyna
      Posted at 15:03h, 01 January Reply

      Your message just made my day! Happy New Year 🙂

  • Hannah Pham
    Posted at 18:31h, 28 January Reply

    Anna thank you so much for sharing this recipe. We made it tonight for dinner and it was amazing! I also made some dinner rolls and Jacky loves dipping them in the sauce. Definitely a keeper! Now i have to work on how to make it beautifully like you so i can share with many more 😁

  • Madeleine Lilja
    Posted at 13:35h, 29 January Reply

    Dear Anna, thank you so much for sharing this lovely recipe! Could you please advise on the size of the Dutch oven you’re using for this recipe. I’m currently looking for the perfect Oval-shaped Dutch oven, and this duck is going to be the very first dish cooked in it.
    All the best, Madeleine

    • Anna Voloshyna
      Posted at 06:45h, 01 February Reply

      Hi Madeleine! I use an oval 5.5-Qt dutch oven. Mine is from Cuisinart and is already 10 years old but I love it so much! It’s so good for braising and roasting poultry, meat, and stews 🙂 I’m sure you can get a similar dutch oven from Le Cruiset, Staub, and many other great brands! Happy cooking!

  • Jean van Eeden
    Posted at 16:43h, 20 March Reply

    5 stars
    Thank you for this lovely recipe. Always looking for easy delicious meals to make and this will be one of my go to dishes. I love duck but can’t prize myself as a cook. The first roast duck I ever made and it was a hit with my guests too!
    I Would love to try Susan Trainor’s sauce!

  • Silvija Aniuliene
    Posted at 14:37h, 05 August Reply

    5 stars

  • Lorena Cavanaugh
    Posted at 17:49h, 10 November Reply

    5 stars
    This was the easiest and best tasting duck I’ve ever cooked. I’m so glad I found your recipe. Even my husband, who normally doesn’t really care for duck, raved about it. We’ll definitely have this again and again. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jen A.
    Posted at 12:37h, 29 January Reply

    5 stars
    I made this recipe for a family gathering and OH MY GOODNESS was it a hit! SO delicious! I will not be making duck any other way from now on. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe!!

    • Anna Voloshyna
      Posted at 15:32h, 01 February Reply

      Your message made my day! I’m so glad you like this dish 🙂

  • ZZ
    Posted at 14:27h, 30 April Reply

    5 stars
    Just perfect. My first time cooking a whole duck and I will definitely be making this again! Because I have a huge Dutch oven I’ll be increasing the apples and sweet potatoes next time. This literally made me feel gourmet- I’ll happily serve this for family special occasions. Thank you so much!

  • Rahul Jaswal
    Posted at 01:45h, 11 November Reply

    1 star
    Worst recipe ever. Followed it to the T. Duck was undercooked; green apples were roasted to kingdom come; and the Dutch oven has to be professionally cleaned. Please stop sharing your grandmother’s recipes.

  • Никита
    Posted at 07:48h, 25 December Reply

    5 stars
    Love your recipe. My grandmother cooked something very similar. I suspect negative comment above has more to do with the cook, not so much with the recipe. Anyhow, thanks. Слава Украине!!!

  • Elena
    Posted at 12:02h, 02 January Reply

    5 stars
    Thank you for sharing! Great recipe. The duck was super tender and aromatic! Will cook again for sure!

Post A Comment
Recipe Rating