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Roasted Duck with Red Wine and Wild Rice

November 8, 2011
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Growing up in Illinois eating wild duck for dinner was normal for me.  My father was a hunter and I got to eat all kinds of neat things that most people did’t.  Every year, towards the end of summer, it would come time for the duck blind drawing contest, then the duck hunts, and then the duck eating!  I never realized until later that most kids didn’t grow up eating things like …frogs legs, duck, deer, rabbit, and squirrel.   I mean, really folks?

Later, when I was growing up in California, I realized that these meats weren’t typical fare for most people.  And, around the time I was in college I finally spied my first frozen duck in a specialty super market.  I bought two and asked my mom to make duck for Thanksgiving.  We then had to consult with my father about how he used to make the ducks. One recipe he used was was this amazing slow roasted duck with red wine.   Now, I still get to have it a few times a year.  Thanks to a sale on whole ducks at Whole Foods, I now get to share the recipe with you.

DISCLAIMER – this is best when made in a 2 day process so that you can let the juices sit overnight to properly remove the fat.


1 roasting pan with lid – big enough to fit at least 1 duck

1 whole duck

2 bottles of red wine

1-2 tbsp of dried thyme

2 tbsp butter

2 boxes of Uncle Ben’s wild rice original recipe (NOT quick cooking)

salt and pepper to taste


Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F

Remove duck from package and remove anything inside the cavity of the duck. Feel free to cook this along side your duck or throw away.

Rinse duck in cold water and put in your roasting pan.

Sprinkle the entire duck (front back and sides) with salt, pepper, and thyme.

Place the duck breast side down in the roasting pan. Using a sharp knife make slits on the back of the duck (this is where your butter will go.)

Cut your butter into small chunks and place these chunks in the slits on the back of the duck.

butter in the duck

Butter placed into slices on the duck

Open both bottles of red wine and fill the roasting pan until the wine comes up to cover about half of the duck.  I got two bottles from Trader Joe’s that I like and that cost less than$5 per bottle.

Place the lid on your roasting pan and put the duck in a 325 degree oven for about 2 hours.  The amount of time will depend on the size of the duck.

When duck has finished cooking remove the duck to a cutting board and place all juices into a safe container.  If any parts of the duck have fallen off, strain the juices first so that you don’t have any bones in your liquid.  Let the liquid cool to almost room temperature before placing a lid on your container and putting into your fridge.

While the liquid is cooling – remove all duck meat from the bones. Chop (or hand shred) meat into bite-size chunks and place into a sealed container and put in your fridge until the next day.

duck liquid

duck liquid

Roasted Duck

Final roasted duck

Next Day:

Remove liquid and duck from the fridge.  The duck fat will have risen to the top of the liquid – carefully remove duck fat and put aside. (You can put this in a freezer bag and freeze to use in the future.  Duck fat is delicious to fry potatoes in!)

Skimming off duck fat

Skimming off duck fat

Begin cooking rice using the same directions on the box with the exception of using the liquid from the duck as any liquid that is called for on the box.  If you have extra liquid set aside.  If you don’t have extra and you need more use some chicken broth.  Cook rice for 10 mins until about half cooked – DO NOT cook thoroughly.

Mix the half cooked rice with the duck and place into a casserole dish sprayed with PAM.  I used individual soup bowls that I have at my house.  If you go with smaller containers you will need to cut down on your cooking time by approximately 15 mins.

Place casserole into the oven at 325 degrees and bake for an hour (approximately).  Half way through the baking process check the duck and rice to make sure that it isn’t getting too dried out.  If it is, you can use some of your remaining liquid or a little more broth.  Taste before removing from oven to confirm if it’s done.

If your rice still seems a bit too dry once you take it out you can still add in a tablespoon or two of broth!

Rice before cooking

Rice before cooking

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