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Wild Duck chase


Hello helpful community! Has anyone got a tried and tested recipe for a wild duck roast? Quite a few people told me it’s a difficult one to get right, as different bits of it cook at different rates, so it often ends up dry. Advice would be most welcome!
Got a lovely Zweigelt to go with it! :wine_glass:
Thanks in advance :grinning:

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I seem to remember @robert_mcintosh recently cooking duck, maybe he can help ?


Thanks for the tip, @Leah!
I found the thread, but I think @robert_mcintosh cooked a duck, rather than a wild duck. Apparently they’re quite different to cook, as the wild duck got much less fat on, so can dry quickly. Don’t know why I decided to buy it in the first place :thinking:


Wrapping in bacon will surely be the first step…


Yes, I’m afraid I go the easy route.

I have found that it is rarely worth getting the whole duck, as you seem to pay extra and, let’s be honest, there isn’t much other than breasts and legs, unlike a chicken.

I’ve found it better to either cook breasts quite pink, or roast the legs for AGES and so they are soft. How you do that on a whole bird eludes me, sadly.

Sadly, the person I would turn to for advice (my mother, naturally, … and her collection of hundreds of cookbooks) is travelling in India at the moment.

What does the Oracle (google) say?


I would also cut it up and do what @robert_mcintosh suggests with the breasts. The legs I would confit (very gently and for a long time) in either goose fat or olive oil, thyme would also feature. The rest I would use to make a stock.


Thank you both! Good ideas!.. From looking at Google sounds like the advice is similar - i.e. to cook the breasts and legs at different length, and keep the carcass for stock.


Enjoy it. Wild duck is vastly superior as it works for a living. From my experience the taste is lovely and different to farmyard duck.

But then I really like duck.


I’ll let you know if it worked out. I adore game in all its forms, which is why I thought I’d give wild duck a go… Hope it works! Worst case, I’ll just drown my sorrow in Zweigelt! :wink:


For a few years I had sort of a bonfire night tradition. I’d buy a nice game bird, cook it badly then console myself with nice wine.

The year I massacred the wild mallard I drank a quite good Nuits St Georges 1er Crus from 2001.



Recipe for whole roast wild duck… from the master…


Lol mate that’s the exact site of the massacre!!

However, my wife made me leave the bird in the oven for much longer than the recipe because she didn’t want it pink. She also helped her self to my consolation Burgundy.

We are now divorced. Just saying.


This looks good, thanks @szaki1974!
I think I’ll give it a go - should go well with the wine. I’ll try and ensure my marriage stays in tact, though @danchaq!! :grimacing:


Not sure if you’re still looking, but I find Pierre Koffmann recipes for roast wild duck work well, particularly with an orange liqueur sauce (Cointreau is fine) . Make sure you don’t overcook it, and give it a good rest! Most of the meat is in the breast of wild duck anyway, but the thigh meat is worth picking off.


If I’m not too late … Assume you’re talking about Mallard.

As others have said, the breasts need little cooking but the legs need quite a lot. An impossible trick to pull off with a whole bird.

Best method, if you’re comfortable doing / able to do this:

  • remove legs (thigh and drum in one piece) and braise for 60/90 mins

  • roast what you are left with (ie the breasts still on the carcass, which is known as the breasts ‘on the crown’) in 200c oven for about 10 mins, then let rest for 10 mins (a vital step which finishes the cooking), then remove the breasts whole, carve and serve.

That will deliver rare breasts for a medium sized bird. Ensure the bird is room temperature before you start. A cheffy extra: brown the skin of the breasts on the crown first in a hot pan, a minute per side, using a mix of butter and oil. This step helps develop a nice roasted skin that you don’t get from just 10 mins in an oven.


Thanks, @James and all! The more I read comments about cooking it- the more I realise it’s probably best to follow your suggestion and cook the breast and legs separately. So I think that’s what I’m going to do, as it seems like it’ll get the best results and do justice to both parts. Incidentally, I don’t think it’s a mallard. I bought it from my local farm shop, right at the end of the season, and I thinks- being smaller than a mallard- it’s probably a wigeon or a pintail. In any case, I think the instructions for a mallard would work here too.
Thanks all for your help!! :grinning:


I’m envious of your dinner. Happy cooking and bon appetit!