Spiced slow-roast duck & apple sauce

Follow Gordon’s steps for a sensational roast duck dinner, perfect for entertaining

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:2 hrs 40 mins
  • Serves 2
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 1159
  • fat 75g
  • saturates 24g
  • carbs 76g
  • sugars 36g
  • fibre 8g
  • protein 50g
  • salt 2.08g


  • 1 duck about 1½ kg
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 500g small potatoes, such as ratte
  • a few watercress sprigs, to serve
  • 5 Bramley apples
  • 25g butter
  • 1 star anise
  • pinch of cinnamon, plus ½ cinnamon stick
  • 150ml apple juice


Want gravy with it?
Scoop the potatoes into a serving dish and pour all the fat out of the roasting tin (you can strain this then keep in a jar in the fridge and use to roast vegetables). Place the tin on the heat and simmer down 3 tbsp red wine vinegar. Add 200ml chicken stock, simmer, season to taste and strain into a sauce dish.


  1. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Remove any giblets and pull the excess fat from the duck’s cavity. Use a roasting fork or skewer to prick the skin of the duck all over – do this lightly as you don’t want to pierce the meat.

  2. Season generously inside, rub the skin with a little oil and season with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lemon halves, cinnamon, star anise and garlic. Sit the duck in a roomy roasting tin (you will be adding potatoes to the tin later). Roast the duck for 2 hrs, pricking again every now and then. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 10 mins until just cooked.

  3. Remove the duck from the oven and increase the heat to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Place the duck on a board and pour off half the fat from the tin. Toss the potatoes in the tin so they are completely coated in the juices, then push them to the side of the tin. Sit the duck back in and give it a final 20-30 mins in the oven to crisp up.

  4. Meanwhile, make the apple sauce. Peel and finely slice the apples, discarding the core. Melt the butter in a pan until sizzling, add the apples and spices, then stir to coat.

  5. Pour in 100ml apple juice, cover and simmer for 10 mins, stirring occasionally. Add a splash more juice if the apples are becoming a bit dry. Cook until the apples have collapsed into a fluffy sauce.

  6. Remove the duck from the oven to a board to rest, then place the potatoes back into the oven for 20 mins to crisp up. When the duck has rested and the potatoes are brown, you are ready to carve and plate up.

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