It’s easy to roast duck in a sticky-sweet glaze of balsamic vinegar, honey and freshly squeezed lemon juice. But an even simpler way to enjoy roast duck with crispy golden skin is to roast the duck in the oven and then serve it with a drizzle of good-quality balsamic vinegar. You can also reserve the rendered duck fat from pan-frying the duck before roasting to make deliciously crispy duck fat roasted potatoes. Simply use it in place of olive oil to toss with the diced potatoes before roasting. Serve with a glass of David Hook Shiraz (see our wine pairings below), and you have the ultimate restaurant feast at home using just six ingredients.

Roast duck with balsamic

Serves 4


1 whole duck, skin on, quartered (ask your butcher to do this)

150g rocket leaves

1 bunch asparagus, blanched

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 tbs good-quality balsamic vinegar

Steamed new potatoes or duck fat roasted potatoes, to serve

Bottle of David Hook Shiraz, to serve


Make sure each piece of duck has enough skin left to completely cover the flesh (this will keep it moist during cooking).

Season the skin with a couple of good pinches of salt on each piece. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 240°C.

Place a large ovenproof frypan over medium-high heat, then add the duck pieces to the pan, skin side down, and cook for 2-3 minutes until the skin starts to crisp and caramelise.

Pour off the rendered duck fat from the pan (you can use this in place of olive oil to make deliciously crispy roasted potatoes).

Transfer the frypan with the duck still skin side down to the oven to roast. The breast will take 5-8 minutes and the thigh 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest the duck for 5 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, toss the rocket leaves, asparagus and cucumber with the extra virgin olive oil and divide among 4 serving plates. Slice each breast and cut each leg in half at the joint, then divide the meat among the plates, placing on top of the salad. Drizzle the duck with balsamic vinegar. Season and serve with steamed new season potatoes or duck fast roasted potatoes.

Matching wines for duck

Pinot noir and duck are a classic pairing, but did you know that Shiraz, with its juicy berry and cherry flavours, is great not only with beef but also with duck? It’s no secret that shiraz and a perfectly cooked steak go hand in hand, this red also enhances the rich gamey flavour of the duck. Team up your duck with one of these delicious wine options:

2018 Old Vines Shiraz has bright ruby hues with a touch of purple and subtle aromas of spice, pepper and savoury oak. The palate delivers the classic Hunter hints of leather, pepper, vanilla and blackberries.

2019 Shiraz is a medium-bodied wine showing red berries, spicy fruit and soft mild tannins. Sweet berry and spice dominate the aroma. The palate displays fruit richness with peppery undertones. The finish is long and soft, with fine tannins.