Oloroso, Clementine and Sage Roast Duck with Apple and Quince Compote

Peter Gordon's prepare-ahead Christmas dinner is the perfect recipe for a romantic yule and sets you up for a Boxing Day risotto
By Peter Gordon
Oloroso, Clementine and Sage Roast Duck with Apple and Quince Compote
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2-3
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes plus chilling time
  • Effort: easy


For the duck

  • 1 duck, untrussed
  • flaky sea salt
  • 150 ml oloroso sherry
  • handfuls sage leaves
  • 1 clementine, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 carrots, quartered lengthways
  • 2 red onions, sliced into thick rings

For the compote

  • 500 ml apple juice
  • 400 g caster sugar
  • 1 granny smith or Bramley apple
  • 1 quince
  • 2 cloves

For the gravy

  • 1 tbsp flour, (optional)
  • vegetableboiling water, (optional)

Tips and Suggestions

Any left over meat can be mixed into risotto the next day, flavoured with stock made from the duck bones and roasting juices.


1. Two days before you plan to serve the duck (on December 23rd if it's for Christmas) take the bird and prick it all over, just piercing the fat. Rub it with 2 teaspoons of flaky salt, then place in a roasting dish. Drizzle the oloroso sherry over the duck, rubbing it into the skin. Pour a little into the cavity, then seal tightly and place in the refrigerator.

2. To make the apple sauce, in a non-stick saucepan, bring the apple juice and sugar to the boil. Grate the apple coarsely, avoiding the core, and add to the pan. Peel the quince and coarsely grate it, again avoiding the core, and add this to the pan along with the cloves. Cook at a low simmer until the mixture thickens, stirring often. Once it resembles a thickish apple sauce, take off the heat and leave to cool. Store covered in the refrigerator.

3. The next day, turn the duck over. In a mixing bowl, combine the sage clementine and garlic and stuff this into the cavity. Seal the dish tightly again and return to the refrigerator.

4. On the day of serving, preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Take the duck from the pan and place the prepared carrots and onions on the bottom. Sit the duck on top, breasts facing downwards, and pour 200ml hot water into the dish. Roast near the top of the oven for 1 hour.

5. Move the oven rack to the centre of the oven and turn the bird over, basting it with the pan juices. Roast until the juice from the legs comes out clear when the flesh is pierced with a small pointed knife.

6. Turn on the oven's grill facility, or preheat a separate grill, and cook the duck until the skin goes golden. Leave the duck to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

7. Skim the fat from the pan juices. Serve the pan juices as gravy; alternatively strain them and mix in a heaped tablespoon of flour, then whisk in some boiling vegetable water and cook over moderate heat to thicken. Serve with the apple and quince compote.

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