Crispy-Skinned Steamed Duck

Author: Canadian Living

The common variety of ducks (Peking/Lac Brome) raised in Canada are tasty but quite fatty. So, years ago, I developed this method of cooking it based on Chinese recipes where the whole duck is steamed, then deep-fried. The meat's flavour gets a boost from overnight salting; the steaming rids it of most of its fat and tenderizes the meat; and the final finish in a hot oven makes the necessary crisp skin.

  • Portion size 6 servings
  • Credits : Canadian Living Magazine: January 2008


  • 1 duck 4 lb/2kg
  • 2 teaspoons brandy
  • 2 teaspoons vermouth
  • 1/3 cup coarse salt or 1/4 cup/75 ml table salt
  • 4 cloves garlic mashed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons liquid honey


With paper towels, pat duck dry. Rub inside and out with brandy then salt, distributing evenly. Place in dish and cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for 24 hours. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up 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 skewer or toothpick, prick skin all over, being careful not to prick fat and meat underneath.

In small bowl, lightly mash together garlic, chopped rosemary and pepper; rub inside cavity. Peel off strips of lemon rind. Set aside.

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

Remove duck and carefully pour out liquid from body cavity. (Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes; transfer to glass baking dish and refrigerate until cold. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.) Discard rosemary and lemon rind.

In small bowl, mix honey with reserved lemon juice; brush some over bottom 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 honey mixture. Roast for about 15 minutes longer or until well browned, watching carefully to avoid burning.

Nutritional facts Per each of 6 servings: about

  • Sodium 415 mg
  • Protein 25 g
  • Calories 471.0
  • Total fat 37 g
  • Cholesterol 110 mg
  • Saturated fat 13 g
  • Total carbohydrate 8 g


  • Iron 28.0
  • Fibre 0.0
  • Folate 5.0
  • Sodium 0.0
  • Sugars 0.0
  • Calcium 2.0
  • Protein 0.0
  • Calories 0.0
  • Total fat 0.0
  • Vitamin A 8.0
  • Vitamin C 7.0
  • Potassium 0.0
  • Cholesterol 0.0
  • Saturated fat 0.0
  • Total carbohydrate 0.0
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Crispy-Skinned Steamed Duck