Classic Roasted Duck with Orange-Bourbon-Molasses Glaze

The secret to crispy skin is a dry duck. Pat ducks with a paper towel before, during, and after refrigerating. Store uncovered in the back, coldest part of your fridge for up to two days ahead.

Classic Roasted Duck with Orange-Bourbon-Molasses Glaze
Photo: Southern Living
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
11 hrs 50 mins
8 to 10 servings


  • 2 (6- to 7-lb.) whole ducks

  • Kitchen string

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup orange marmalade

  • 1/4 cup bourbon

  • 3 tablespoons molasses

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper


  1. Remove giblets from ducks, and reserve for another use. Rinse ducks, and pat dry with paper towels. Remove excess fat and skin. Tie legs together with kitchen string; chill, uncovered, 10 to 24 hours.

  2. Preheat oven to 450°. Let ducks stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Prick legs, thighs, and breasts with a fork. Rub ducks with salt and black pepper, and place, breast side up, on a wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan. Bake 45 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, stir together orange marmalade and next 5 ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced to about 1 cup.

  4. Remove ducks from oven, and carefully spoon fat from pan. Brush ducks with orange marmalade glaze. Reduce oven temperature to 350°, and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 180°. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

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