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Cooking Duck the Italian Way

Duck is another of those dishes that people tend to either love or hate. Again, I believe the problem derives when people have no idea how to cook a duck.

Many people will tell you duck is greasy. It’s greasy only when you haven’t employed the secret that prevents the cooking duck from becoming greasy.

Duck meat is all dark. This is tempting to those who prefer the dark meat, to the white when it comes to poultry. Dark meat contains more flavor, and moisture than white meat.

Here then is the simple secret to roasting a duck, and not having a finished product that is so greasy it will make you ill just thinking about having to eat it.

Duck has a thick layer of fat just beneath the skin. You need to allow this fat to escape during cooking time, without having it soak down into the meat. Wash the duck you’re preparing thoroughly, inside the cavity, and out.

Now, take a fork, and after lifting the skin away from the layer of fat beneath, proceed to poke little holes in the skin with the tines of your fork. You need to do this over all of the skin. Do not allow that fork to poke through the layer of fat and into the meat. If you do, the meat will absorb all the fat as it melts during the cooking process.

By poking these holes in the skin only, the melting fat is able to escape and drip down to the bottom of the pan where the duck isn’t sitting, because it should have been placed on a rack in your roasting pan.

Though I haven’t cooked a duck in quite a while, my preferred method of doing so was to make Duck L’Orange. I don’t think when I first began making it, that I had an actual recipe, but I’ve noticed since that many people will pour orange juice on their duck. I used to spread orange marmalade on the duck, and slice a large onion all over it, and put some onion slices into the cavity. It won’t hurt to pour a cup of orange juice over the duck as well. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for at least a couple of hours. Cook the duck for thirty minutes per pound.

Because of the fat dripping off the sides, I wouldn’t add roasted vegetables to the cooking pan. Instead, in a separate pan, I would use tiny potatoes, whole, and chunks of carrot. Put these in a clay baking dish, or other baking pans. Sprinkle or use a basting brush to baste each in pure olive oil. Generously sprinkle garlic powder, onion powder, and basil over these vegetables, and bake until tender, and brown. It will probably take a good two hours to accomplish this as well. Test them with a fork before serving, to ensure they’re tender, and ready to eat.

Give it a try. Cooked properly, duck is never greasy. It’s just delicious!


Add a nice salad of tomato, romaine lettuce, cucumbers and black olives to finish off this delicious meal.

Make sure there is one or two tiny holes in each potato to allow steam to escape as they cook, unless you par boil them first, as directed below.

You can par boil the potatoes and carrots before placing in roasting pan, and seasoning. This process would only take eight to ten minutes.

Buon Appetito!