Roasted Braised Duck

October 26, 2020

We’re shaking everything up this Thanksgiving, so why not try making a whole duck?! They’re tender and juicy when prepared correctly, and less guests this year gives you more space to explore and get creative with your meal. This roasted braised duck is packed with flavor and incorporates some of our favorite fresh, local ingredients. It’ll be one small way to make this year even more memorable. 


  • 1 Local Roots whole duck (innards removed)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 5 slices fresh ginger
  • 6 cloves organic Local Roots garlic (peeled and smashed)
  • 1 tablespoon rock sugar (or regular sugar)
  • ½ cup Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • ¼ cup light soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 star anise
  • 6 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 12 whole peppercorns
  • 4-5 pieces dried orange peel
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon Local Roots honey (mixed with 1 teaspoon warm water)
  • Local Roots green scallions, chopped (for serving) 


  1. Rinse the duck inside and out and thoroughly pat dry. Remove the tail. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok over medium heat, and swirl it around to coat the wok.
  2. Lower the duck into the wok breast side down, and let the skin brown and crisp up slightly. Spoon the oil over the parts of the duck that aren’t touching the oil. You will end up with a lot more oil than you started with, as the fat renders out of the duck. Turn off the heat.
  3. In a large pot (big enough to accommodate the duck laying flat) over medium heat, add a tablespoon of the fat from the wok, and cook the ginger and garlic for about 1 minute. Stir in the sugar until it’s melted.
  4. Add the cooking wine, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, rice vinegar, anise, cloves, bay leaves, peppercorns, dried orange peels, 3 cups water and the duck. The liquid should come up about halfway up the duck. Add a little more water as needed.
  5. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 50-60 minutes, flipping the bird every 15 minutes to make sure it cooks evenly.
  6. Carefully lift the duck out and drain all the liquid from the cavity, Place the duck on a V-rack set on a baking sheet. breast side up. Brush the duck all over with honey water. Set aside and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  7. Roast the duck for 12-15 minutes, until the skin is crispy. Watch it closely to prevent burning. Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with the sauce leftover in the pot and a sprinkle of fresh cut scallions. 

Recipe adapted from The Woks of Life 

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