Crispy-Skin Steamed Duck

Author: Canadian Living

  • Portion size 8 servings


  • 1 duck about 4 pounds
  • 2 teaspoons brandy
  • 2 teaspoons vermouth
  • 1/3 cup coarse salt or 1/4 cup/50 mL fine salt
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely grated pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup


Rinse duck well and thoroughly dry with paper towels. Rub inside and out with brandy, then salt, distributing evenly. Place in large dish and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 to 3 days, turning daily.

Rinse salt off duck under cold running water; dry with paper towels. Pull off excess fat in cavity; cut off tail bone and excess neck skin. Using metal skewer or toothpick, prick skin all over on angle, especially in fatty areas, being careful not to prick underneath meat under fat.

In small bowl, combine garlic, chopped rosemary and pepper, mashing slightly with fork. Rub inside duck cavity. Using vegetable peeler, peel off strips of lemon rind; set aside.

Place 2 inches (5 cm) water in wok or large pot. Add all but 4 strips of the lemon and 2 of the rosemary sprigs; bring to boil. Place duck, breast side up, in large bamboo steamer; lay remaining lemon rind and rosemary sprigs on top. Place on top of wok. Reserving 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 mL) lemon juice, squeeze remaining juice over duck. Cover and steam over medium-high heat for 70 minutes, adding more boiling water to wok as necessary.

Remove duck from steamer; carefully pour out excess liquid from body cavity. (Make-ahead: Cool slightly at room temperature; transfer to glass dish and refrigerate until completely cooled. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day.) Discard rosemary and lemon rind.

In small bowl, mix maple syrup and reserved lemon juice; lightly brush over bottom skin of duck. Place duck, breast side down, on rack in roasting pan. Roast in 425°F (220°C) oven for 15 minutes or until golden. Turn duck over; brush all over with remaining maple syrup mixture. Roast for about 15 minutes or until well browned, watching carefully in final minutes to avoid burning.

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Crispy-Skin Steamed Duck