Tea & Salt Cured Roast Duck


Tea & Salt Cure

  • 2 oz (4 tbsp) Hu-Kwa tea (or any black tea)
  • 2 oz (4 tbsp) black peppercorns
  • 2 oz (4 tbsp) sugar
  • 1 lb kosher salt

Duck & Sauce

  • 1 Pekin duck, about 5-6 lbs
  • 2 cups Hu-Kwa tea & salt cure* (see Instructions)
  • 4 oranges
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 2 cups rich stock, duck or veal
  • ½ cup sherry
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ½ cup bitter orange marmalade
  • ½ cup port jelly or currant jelly
  • handful of husk cherries (optional)


Make Tea & Salt Cure

  1. Place the tea, pepper, and sugar in a blender and blend to a powder.  Mix with the salt

Add Cure & Refrigerate

  1. Wash and pat dry the duck.  Remove and reserve any giblets from the cavity
  2. Place one orange, sliced, and 2 cloves garlic into the cavity.  Truss the duck to a firm and attractive shape
  3. Rub the tea and salt cure all over the duck and let rest in the refrigerator for 4 hours

Roast the Duck

  1. Preheat oven to 375º
  2. Rinse duck gently and pat dry again.  Some of the cure left on the duck is fine
  3. Use a roasting pan with a rack and fill ½"  with the white wine
  4. Place duck breast side up on the roasting rack and cook in oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes, basting every 20 minutes or so.  During the cooking time, the first 40 minutes are breast up.  Then, very gently, with wooden spoons, turn the duck to face back bone up for the next 20 minutes.  Finally, return the duck to breast side up to finish the cooking
  5. During the last 10 minutes, paint the duck with some of the orange marmalade to help bronze the roasted skin.  Save any unused jelly to add to the sauce
  6. At the end of the cooking time, if your breast is not dark enough for your liking, turn the oven up to 450º and watch carefully until your desired color is reached
  7. Lift the duck out of the roasting pan by the cooking rack.  Place in a warm spot to rest while you prepare the sauce

Prepare Sauce

  1. Pour all of the juices and fat out of the roasting pan and into a cup to allow the fat and juice to separate
  2. Add a spoonful of fat back to the pan and cook the giblets, and zest from the remaining three oranges
  3. Add the sherry and red wine and reduce to a glaze.
  4. Add the stock, separated cooking juices,then the marmalade and currant jelly and cook to reduce to approximately 2 cups
  5. Strain stock and add to the segments from the remaining three oranges just before serving

Plate & Serve

  1. Place the rested duck on a platter and spoon the sauce around it
  2. Garnish with vegetables and herbs (optional)

Note:  This recipe will produce a duck cooked in the French style; it will be pink.  If you like a cooked-through duck, increase the roasting time by another 30 minutes.