Quarantine Kitchen: Deck the Halls with Duck from the Carolinas

by | Dec 15, 2020

NCDA&CS Food Marketing Specialist: Chad Blackwelder

This year has been full of unprecedented times and situations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families and individuals will be cooking at home this holiday season. That’s why we are bringing the dishes to you all month long in our Quarantine Kitchen series. We talked to twenty-three chefs who willingly shared some of their favorite dishes to prepare for the holidays. Stay tuned Dec. 1 through 24 on the blog as well as our social media channels for a new dish to feature in your home each day and let’s get cooking!

Before his time at the NCDA&CS, Chad Blackwelder worked as a chef at a variety of restaurants across North Carolina. He still loves to cook at home and experiment with different recipes, but is also enjoying being on the other side of the table and meeting chefs across the state through his new position as Food Marketing Specialist. One of his favorite recipes to fix around the holidays is not a traditional choice of meat but can be found at many farmers markets and local retailers across the state, duck. This recipe for Roasted N.C. Duck with Oranges will help you deck the halls with its beautiful presentation and satisfy the taste buds of your entire family. Let us know what you think!

Roasted N.C. Duck with Oranges

Serves four


  • For the Duck:
    • 1 whole NC duck (4 to 6 lbs)
    • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
    • 2 Tablespoons fresh ground coriander seed
    • 1 Tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
    • 3 to 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
    • 1 small bunch of fresh thyme
    • 1 orange, cut in half
    • 1 cup turkey stock
    • 1 cup dry white N.C. wine
  • For the Sauce:
    • 1 Tablespoon vegetable or other neutral oil
    • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced roughly into ¼ inch pieces
    • 1 small carrot, peeled and cut like the onion
    • 1 rib of celery, cut like the carrot
    • ¼ cup local honey
    • 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
    • ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 3 cups turkey stock
    • Reserved pan juices
    • 2 teaspoons butter at room temperature
    • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour or cornstarch (GF)
    • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
    • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


  • For the Duck:
    1. Remove duck from the refrigerator about 40 minutes before cooking and pat dry inside and out.
    2. Mix the salt, coriander and pepper and liberally season the duck inside and out.
    3. Place the seasoned duck on a wire rack in a heavy bottom roasting pan. Allow the duck to come to room temperature, about 40 minutes. This method will insure even cooking and should be applied when cooking meat in general.
    4. Heat oven to 475 degrees.
    5. Stuff the duck cavity with the orange halves, rosemary and thyme.
    6. Place duck in the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
    7. Add stock and white wine to roasting pan, lower oven heat to 350 degrees and continue to roast until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees, another 1 to 1 ¼ hours longer.
    8. Next, place duck under the broiler for 3-4 minutes to finish browning.
    9. Allow duck to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. This will keep the juices inside the bird as they settle while cooling down a bit.
    10. Reserve pan juices for the sauce.
  • For the Sauce:
    1. Combine the room temperature butter and flour together to make a smooth paste, set aside at room temperature.
    2. In a heavy bottom two-quart sauce pot, heat oil and saute onion, carrots and celery over medium high heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The vegetables should be caramelized.
    3. Next add a pinch of salt along with the honey, vinegar and orange juice and reduce liquids by half over low to medium heat.
    4. Add the bay leaves, rosemary and turkey stock along with any reserved pan juices from roasting the duck.
    5. Bring to a boil, lower heat and reduce by 1/3.
    6. Using a whisk, stir in the butter mixture and continue to cook over low heat for five minutes. This will thicken the sauce.
    7. Strain the sauce into a serving vessel and season with the soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
    8. Carve the duck and ladle over the orange-honey sauce.
    9. Garnish with orange zest and segments, pomegranate seeds and fresh rosemary sprigs.