Roast Duck with a Pork, Lemon and Olive Filling

February 24, 2022

Serves 4:

  • one duck 1.6-2 kg in wight (washed, pat dried and at room temperature)
  • about 125 ml of white wine or mix lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon with equal quantities of brandy and white wine


For the filling:

  • 250 g of minced pork meat or (preferably) 2 Italian sausages
  • 2 slices of stale bread, rinds removed, soaked in milk for 20-30 minutes
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • grated zest from half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp of roughly chopped olives (I like to use olive taggiasche) 
  • a few sage leaves, chopped
  • fresh rosemary (one sprig), chopped
  • a small bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • nutmeg (be generous)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200 C (static oven). 

Prepare the filling.

Heat up in a small pan on a medium heat the olive oil. Add the chopped celery and sauté for about 10 minutes until soft.

Squeeze in your hands the soaked bread getting rid of excess milk.

Put all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Make sure that the filling is well  seasoned.

Fill the cavity of the duck with the pork mixture and secure with a few skewers (or with toothpicks).

Place the prepared duck in an oiled roasting tin (don’t rub the bird with any olive oil or salt).

Let it roast, undisturbed, for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully drain or spoon off the duck fat into a heatproof little bowl (keep the fat in a fridge and use it for roasting potatoes for example).

Turn the heat down to 180 C, pour half the quantity of the wine (or the lemon-brandy-wine mixture) over the  duck and put it back into the oven to continue baking.

After 20-30 minutes pour over the remaining wine and carry on roasting the duck for another hour, basting it with the released juices every 20 minutes or so. 

If the skin starts to brown to quickly loosely place a sheet of aluminium foil over the dish. 

In case the skin hasn’t turned dark golden in colour towards the end of baking, put the temperature up back to 200 C and wait until it has reached the desirable colour and glow.

Now the duck needs to rest for 15 minutes in a warm dish in a warm place. It’s best to leave it the switched off oven with the door half open.

Serve the duck immediately with some pureed or roast potatoes and a crisp green salad on the side.