Here we cut the duck into 2 pieces rather than cooking it whole. This makes the skin evenly roasted on all sides, not like with a whole duck. You probably don’t like all that underneath without a golden crust either.

How does it taste? Spicy, sweet, and cozy. The combination of cinnamon, citrus, ginger, fennel, and rosemary do their job perfectly.

I already have a great recipe for Christmas-flavored duck legs. It’s popular and everyone likes it. That’s Duck Legs Baked with Tangerines, Apples, and Chinese five-spice powder and Baked Duck Leg with Potato, Onions, and Pears. Check out both of these duck leg and thigh recipes.

Christmas Duck Baked with Apples, Grapefruit, and Potatoes


Christmas duck
Christmas duck baked with apples, grapefruit, and potatoes
5-10 minutes 2-2,5 hours 4 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

  • 1 duck (2.2-2.5 kg / 4.4-5.5 lb)
  • 2 pinches of cinnamon
  • 50 g (2 oz) ginger
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp dried fennel
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary (fresh thyme is also good)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 2 apples
  • 10 small potatoes
  • 1 grapefruit (oranges and tangerines can be used)
  • 250 g (9 oz) small carrots
  • 2 onions (red, white or both)


  1. Take the duck out of the refrigerator ahead of time and let it warm up to room temperature.
  2. Remove the zest from the grapefruit and squeeze the juice from half. Grate the ginger on a fine grater. Grind the fennel in a mortar. Mix ginger, grapefruit zest and juice, fennel, salt, black pepper, honey, oil, leaves from one stick of rosemary, and cinnamon.
  3. Cut the duck into 2 pieces. Separate the breast first, then cut along the backbone.
  4. Pat the duck dry with paper towels. Rub the marinade on the inside. Place the duck in a baking dish skin side up and rub on the skin side.
Christmas duck baked
  1. Place in a cold oven on the rack just below the middle. Set the temperature to 180°C / 350°F. Cook for 40 minutes. Then turn the duck over and bake for another 40 minutes. If the fat and marinade begins to stick to the pan, pour in 2-3 tbsp of water.
  2. Wash or peel the potatoes well. Leave small potatoes whole, cut large potatoes into 2-4 pieces.
  3. If using large carrots, peel them and cut them into large sticks (about 1.5 x 6 cm).
  4. Pour cold water over the potatoes. Bring to a boil, add salt, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and simmer for another 5 minutes. Drain the water.
  5. Cut the apples into 4-6 slices and remove the core. Peel the remaining half of the grapefruit and cut it across the wedges.
  6. Go back to the duck. Now flip the duck every 20 minutes. My 2.3 kg duck cooked for a total of 2 hours and 20 minutes.
  7. Check that the duck is ready. Stick a wooden skewer or toothpick into the duck’s leg, somewhere near the joint. If the duck is still firm, don’t add the vegetables. Continue cooking, turning every 20 minutes.
  8. 40 minutes before the end of cooking, add the potatoes, onions, a sprig of rosemary torn apart, and carrots to the baking dish. Toss them in the fat. Lightly salt and pepper the vegetables. Do not flip the duck again. It should be lying skin up now. Continue basting or greasing from the baking dish with a cooking brush.
Christmas duck baked with apples, grapefruit, and potato
  1. After 20 minutes, add the apples and grapefruit to the baking dish. Toss them in the fat and cook until the apples are slightly soft. They should not turn into mush, about 20-25 minutes.

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I'm Alona Bogdanova – cookbooks writer from Ukraine. I create and photograph gourmet, approachable and exciting recipes for every day.

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