Maple-glazed duck with orange & watercress

Impress your guests with roasted duck legs in a sweet and sticky glaze of maple syrup, soy sauce and orange juice, paired with a punchy orange and watercress salad

  • Prep:35 mins
    Cook:1 hrs 30 mins
  • Serves 8
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 509
  • fat 21g
  • saturates 6g
  • carbs 27g
  • sugars 26g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 51g
  • salt 2.4g


  • 8 duck legs
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • large piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 3 tbsp runny honey
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil
  • 200g watercress
  • 4 oranges, peeled and segmented


Why choose duck legs?

Duck legs are the perfect dinner-party main course as they come in the perfect portion size, and they don’t dry out if you cook them ahead and then reheat.


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Place the duck legs on a wire rack, skin-side up, with a tray underneath to catch the fat. Put in the oven and roast for 1 hr. Meanwhile, to make the glaze, pour the soy sauce, maple syrup, honey and juice into a saucepan and bring up to the boil. Add the cinnamon stick and ginger and simmer until the glaze is sticky, then leave to cool. 

  2. After 1 hr, turn the oven up to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Brush the glaze generously over the duck and continue to cook for 30 mins, brushing with glaze every 5 mins or so, until the duck is a deep mahogany with a caramelised crust. Remove from the oven and leave to rest.

  3. While the duck is roasting, make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients, except the oil, in a pan. Simmer until reduced by half, then whisk in the oil. If you like, you can char the orange segments. Lay them on a metal baking tray and caramelise them with a blowtorch (you only need to colour one side). Don’t blowtorch on parchment or a non-heat resistant plate.

  4. To serve, tip the watercress and orange segments into a large bowl and toss in half the dressing. Divide the salad between the plates, place a crispy duck leg on top and drizzle with a little extra dressing.

Suggested recipes from this collection...