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Traditional Christmas duck recipe

christmas dinner



  • 1 (3 to 5-pound) duck with the giblets removed
  • 1 orange
  • 1 sprig of chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig of chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of molasses


1. Place the duck in a medium glass bowl with the breast side up and then use your fingers to separate the skin from the meat without tearing it.

2. Cut the orange in half and squeeze it over the duck, then place the rinds in the cavity of the duck.

3. In a small bowl, mix the thyme, rosemary, 1 tablespoon of salt and the pepper together. Then sprinkle mixture all over the duck.

4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight, rotating the duck after 2 hours so the breast side is down.

5. In the bottom of a pot with a steamer insert, combine the sugar, tea bags and water and bring to a simmer.

6. Place the marinated duck in the steamer legs down and cover the pot.

7. Steam the duck for 30 minutes and then remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.

8. Preheat the rotisserie (or oven) to 275 F/135 C. However you choose to roast your duck, you must make sure that it can rotate so all sides are cooked evenly.

9. In a medium glass bowl, mix the remaining salt and the molasses together and then rub the mixture over the steamed duck.

10. Place the duck on the spit and cook for 1 hour or until the meat is cooked through and the skin is crispy.

11. Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.

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