Honey-roasted Duckling with Spiced Apple Sauce

For a mouthwatering alternative to the Christmas turkey, try Michael Caines' succulent spiced duck with balsamic vegetables and apple sauce
By Michael Caines
Honey-roasted Duckling with Spiced Apple Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes plus resting
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the duckling

  • 1 large oven-ready duckling, about 2.5kg
  • 1 heads garlic, cut in half
  • a few sprigs thyme
  • 2 tsp chinese five spice
  • 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 large carrots, quartered lengthways
  • 2 large parsnips, halved
  • 100 ml balsamic vinegar

For the honey glaze

  • 100 g clear honey
  • 2 tsp chinese five spice

For the spiced apple sauce

  • knob unsalted butter
  • 300 g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 pinches ground cinnamon
  • 1 dashes of lemon juice


1. For the duckling: preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Clean the inside of the duck, season with salt and pepper and tuck the garlic and thyme inside the cavity.

2. Rub the Chinese five spice into the duck skin, season with salt and pepper, then put the duck in a deep roasting tray with the vegetable oil. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, basting from time to time, then remove the duck and turn the oven down to 190C/gas 5.

3. Tuck the vegetables underneath the duck and return the tray to the oven and continue roasting for a further 35 minutes.

4. For the honey glaze: mix the honey and Chinese five spice together. Brush the duck with the honey and five spice mix and roast for a further 10 minutes. Leave to rest for 15 minutes covered in kitchen foil. Pour the resting juices into a bowl or jug and stir the balsamic vinegar into the vegetables.

5. For the spiced apple sauce: cook the butter, apples, cinnamon and lemon juice in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a gentle heat, stirring from time to time, until smooth and thick. Remove from the heat and set aside.

6. Remove the duck legs and cut into two, then carve the breast meat. Arrange the meat on a platter and spoon over the resting juices. Serve with the spiced apple sauce and the roasted vegetables.

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