This duck is incredibly succulent, slow roasted for six hours and served with a slightly sweet sauce that's a blend of walnut and spices.






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  • 1 whole duck
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 kg duck bones
  • 4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 3 leeks, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved
  • 1 kg duck fat


  • 300 g walnuts
  • 3 brown onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tbsp biber salçasi (Turkish capsicum paste)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 50 g honey
  • 100 ml pomegranate molasses

To serve

  • small handful toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 bunch coriander, leaves picked
  • Iranian rice (optional)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


This recipe needs to be started 1 day in advance.

  1. Take the wings and neck off the duck followed by the legs, then the crown. Reserve any bones for the stock, then place the neck, wings and legs in an airtight container and season with salt. Cover and refrigerate overnight along with the crown in a separate container.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C. Place all the duck bones in a baking dish and roast for 15 minutes or until golden. Transfer the bones to a large saucepan, cover with 3 litres cold water and bring to the boil over high heat, skimming off any impurities. Add the celery, leek and garlic, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 hours. Strain the stock, discard the solids and set aside to cool, then refrigerate overnight. You will need about 2 litres stock.
  3. The following day, preheat the oven to 130°C. Heat the duck fat in a saucepan over low heat until just melted.  Place the salted legs, neck and wings in a deep baking dish and pour over the melted duck fat. Bake for 2-3 hours or until the meat falls away from the bone. When ready, carefully remove the duck from the fat and set aside to cool. Reserve the duck fat for making the sauce. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the neck and wings, flake into small pieces and set aside.
  4. For the sauce, increase the oven temperature to 180°C. Place the walnuts on a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. While still hot, add to a food processor and blitz into a smooth paste.
  5. Heat 60 ml (¼ cup) reserved duck fat in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onions and garlic, stirring occasionally until tender and caramelised. Add the biber salçasi, tomato paste, saffron, cinnamon, turmeric and black pepper and stir to combine well. Add 2 litres duck stock to the sauce and bring to a simmer. Stir the walnut paste into the sauce along with honey and pomegranate molasses. Continue to cook the sauce until thickened, then taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Fold through the flaked wing and neck meat.
  6. To cook the duck breasts, take the crown out of the fridge and place on a baking tray, skin -side up for 30 minutes to come to room temperature. Light a charcoal barbecue. Season the duck crown with sea salt, then transfer to the oven and roast at 180°C for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and rest the duck for 5 minutes.
  7. Place the duck crown on the barbecue, breast–side up and cook for 5 minutes, then turn and cook for another 5–10 minutes or until the skin is golden and crisp. Rest for 10 minutes.
  8. While the duck crown is resting, increase the oven temperature to 200°C. Place the legs on baking paper lined baking tray and roast for 10-15 minutes or until the skin is crisp.
  9. To serve, spread the sauce over the base of a large serving platter. Carve the breasts off the crown. If they still look a bit pink or the skin needs crisping a bit more, flash them on the barbecue for 1 minute, then cut into 1 cm-thick slices.  Place on top of sauce along with the crispy duck leg. Finish the dish with chopped walnuts, pomegranate seeds and coriander leaves and serve with Iranian rice.


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