Skip Navigation Links

Roasted Duck stuffed with apples

Roasted Duck Duck is usually served on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day in Germany, but it's an excellent dish to serve on any special occasion. Sides are Spätzle (German home-made noodles) or Knödel (German home-made dumplings) and Rotkohl (red cabbage).


1 young duckling

salt, pepper, paprika

1 onion

60 g / 2.1 oz butter

3/8 L / 1.5 cups water

some beer for basting

1 teaspoon potato or corn starch

5-6 medium sized tart apples (i.e. Granny Smith)


Thaw the duckling over night in the fridge. Next day remove the giblets pack from the inside of the duck. Rinse duck with cold water inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels. Cut off the neck skin and the tail section, where most of the fat is stored. Make a cut in the skin on the breast side towards the tail. Remove any fat from under the skin if necessary. Season duck inside and outside with salt, pepper and a little paprika.

Wash and peel the apples, remove core. Cut in wedges and fill the duck as necessary, do not overfill because the duck could fall apart during roasting. Close opening by sawing together. Place duck in a roasting pan, breast down, tie the legs together and tuck under the wings (or tie them as well). This prevents the duck loosing shape during roasting and to much browning of the legs and wings.

Add the into wedges cut onion to the bottom of the roasting pan with a little of hot water, melt the butter and pour evenly over the duck. Roast uncovered in a pre-heated oven (390°-420° F on medium or lower rack) for 1.5 - 2 hours. When the back of the duck is browned turn duck breast side up. Baste duck several times during roasting and in the last 10 minutes baste the duck with the beer or salty water and increase the temperature to 450° F. This will create a nice crusty skin.

Remove duck from roasting pan, remove ties and apples and let duck rest covered with tin foil. Remove the onions from the pan, loosen drippings, remove fat from sauce (optional) by transferring it into a Gravy Separator or if you make the duck a day ahead, you can finish the gravy the next day. Transfer the gravy strained into a small pot and place in the fridge over night. The next day you can scrape off the hardened fat from top with a spoon. Finish the sauce: Heat the gravy if needed and season to taste. Thicken if necessary with the starch. Add 1 teaspoon of starch into a small cup filled half with cold water, stir to create a thin paste. Add to the simmering sauce, stir and simmer until thickened. Heat the duck in the oven on low temperature until hot. Plate the duck, cut into portions, on a decorative plate and place the baked apples around the duck (which can be eaten as well).

Serve with Spätzle, Knödel, Rotkohl (red cabbage) mashed potatoes, asparagus, green beans or steamed brussel sprouts.

Join the conversation

Like this recipe? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!