Whole Roasted Honey Duck with Spiced Cider
Whole Roasted Honey Duck with Spiced Cider2018-12-28T13:46:29-05:00

Whole Roasted Honey Duck with Spiced Cider

From Chef Jason Hook of H2O Kitchen 


  • 1 Joe Jugielewicz & Son duck, about 6 lb.  


  • 8 oz. water
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 12-oz. bottle hard apple cider, chilled
  • 5 T kosher salt
  • 3 T packed brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 T coriander
  • 1 T black peppercorns
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 small bunch fresh sage
  • 3 sprigs rosemary

Seasoning and Roasting:

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3 T local PA honey
  • 1 T crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 T fennel seeds
  • 1 T crushed pink peppercorns
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • Zest from 1 orange, microplaned
  • Sea salt to taste


For the Brine: In a non-reactive sauce pot combine the water, apple cider, salt and brown sugar. In a separate cast iron pan toast all of the spices together until fully fragrant. Add to the cider mixture. Bring to a boil slowly and pull off the heat. Add the fresh herbs to steep for 10 minutes. Whisk in the hard cider: This will chill the brine down as well so you can cover the duck right away. Pour the brine over the whole duck in a large non-reactive bowl and marinate in the refrigerator overnight or for 12 hours, turning occasionally. After 12 hours remove and pat the duck dry with paper towels. Your duck is now ready for the seasoning and roasting stages. At H2O Kitchen I often then hang the whole duck to dry-age for 7 to 10 days for a deeper duck flavor. However, this step is not necessary at home; the results are still great without the dry aging.

Seasoning & Roasting: Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a non-reactive saucepan add the apple cider and bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and reduce until thick and au sec (syrup consistency). Add the honey and whisk off the heat, set aside. In a cast iron pan toast the dry spices until fully fragrant. Add to the honey mixture. Once the honey mixture is room temperature add the minced rosemary, thyme, and the orange zest. Place the whole Jurgielewicz duck on a rack above a roasting pan. You want the rack to suspend the duck high enough so all convection airflow hits all of its skin surface areas during the roasting period to ensure even crispiness and caramelization throughout; one to two inches will suffice. Spoon the honey mixture all over the duck evenly and sprinkle with sea salt. Place the duck in the preheated oven un-covered. Roast for about 45 minutes and then turn the oven up to 425°F for the final ten minutes to caramelize and crisp up the skin further. Check the breast meat with a thermometer. It should be around 135°F for medium rare. However, after resting properly it will carry-over slightly to around medium, which delivers the best whole-roasted breast. Remove the duck from the oven and rest for 10 to 15 minutes. At this point I like to carve off the legs and return them to the oven over aromatics to finish cooking for another 10 minutes. Meanwhile the breasts are ready to be carved off the breastplate and sliced before serving all together.

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