Crispy Roast Duck

Crispy Roast Duck

Back in the early summer, we had our eight ducks butchered. I had originally bought them for egg laying purposes, which is something that I still could have used our two females for. It quickly became apparent that having your poultry sexed before purchasing makes a difference - we ended up with six male ducks! While it was a hard decision to make, I am glad that we did have them butchered. It helped me realize that the best meat I could possibly feed my family is the kind that we raise ourselves, or from a source that I know and trust (Wild Farm meats!). I am starting to already imagine if raising poultry for meat is something that we want to do every year. I am enjoying knowing that my meat is well cared for, in the way that I prefer it be raised, and that I get to have a good source of soup stock and rendered fat on the regular. The ducks, while sad as it is that their purpose was to become our meal, taught me a lot about what farming can truly be like and that animal life is precious and highly valued.

Ingredients + Recipe |

  • 4-5 pound duck, pasture-raised

  • 2-3 large carrots

  • 2 medium onions, cut into quarters

  • 2 sprigs rosemary

  • 1 tsp caraway seeds

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 tbsp orange zest

  • salt and pepper

  1. Preheat your oven to 410 degrees.

  2. Place the onions, carrots, rosemary, caraway seeds, bay leaves, and garlic cloves spread evenly in a large cast iron skillet.

  3. In a small bowl, mix together the orange zest with 1 tablespoon each of salt and pepper.

  4. Place the duck in the skillet over the vegetables. Rub down with the orange zest mixture.

  5. Bake for 25 minutes. After the 25 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 285 degrees. Continue to roast for 30-35 minutes for every pound. In the case of my 4-5 ducks, this is about 2 hours. Baste with melted butter or the fat off of the duck every 25 minutes or so.

  6. Increase the oven temperature back to 410 degrees. Roast for another 15-20 minutes, basting every 5 minutes. This causes the skin to become golden and crispy, something a duck desperately needs as their skin is much thicker than a chicken’s!

  7. Let rest about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

I am beginning to realize more and more everyday that you never truly know everything about farm life until you become a farmer yourself. It’s not always pretty. It’s hard. I even embarrass myself when I think of the opinions I had previously before becoming a farmer, about farming! You just don’t know what it’s like until you dive in and try it for yourself. If you had asked me even a year ago if I could have my own ducks butchered, the answer would have been a definite no.

I do not regret our decision. I am glad that we raised them. This is something I wanted to share for any fellow homesteaders or those that are looking to join in on this lifestyle. These decisions are difficult, but you are the one that has to make them. Enjoy that roasted duck!

xoxo Kayla

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