Skip to main content

French Roast Duck with Balsamic Fig & Wine Sauce

Recipe by Jill’s Gourmet Dreams

Cuvaison 2019 Wine Sponsor

I created this recipe to be as true to classic French style and techniques as possible, but updated to the present day. I am a French trained Chef, and I love embracing authentic French techniques in my cooking and recipe development, yet modifying them a bit with my own creativity, artful fingerprint, and with methods that are simple for home cooks to achieve delicious success


  • 1 whole fresh or thawed 3-5 lb Duck, I use Maple Leaf Farms brand

  • ½ yellow Onion, large chop

  • Fresh Organic Herbs: Thyme sprigs, Sage, Oregano

  • ½ tsp Salt

  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper

Let’s Begin:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F

  2. Rinse duck inside and out. Pat completely dries with paper towels, inside and out.

  3. Don’t forget to remove gizzards (they are the neck and organs) from inner cavity to use for future stock or other purposes.

  4. Season inside the bird with salt, pepper, onion pieces, and fresh herbs.

  5. Brush the outside with melted butter, and season with salt, pepper, and herbs.

  6. Using a sharp tool to prick the skin (being extra careful not to prick the meat) about every inch over and around thighs, legs, wings, neck, and lower breast areas.

  7. Place duck breast on a wire rack that fits inside a large roasting pan. Tuck wings under body. Place in preheated oven at 425 F for 20 minutes, then reduce the temp to 375 F for 30 minutes.

  8. Then check the meat temp with a meat thermometer, by placing the instant read thermometer into the thickest area of the thigh for the internal temp.
  9. Add additional time in 15-minute increments to continue to roast in the oven until temp registers 130 F in thickest part of thigh for medium rare or 140 F for medium well.
  10. Once the temp is where you like it, remove duck from oven and rest for 10 minutes covered in foil.


Trouble shooting Crispy Skin:

If the skin is not crispy enough or caramelized to your liking when your meat is at the proper temp you want it, then set your oven to broil and place duck back in oven under broiler (not too close) for just a minute or two. WATCH IT VERY CAREFULLY!

It can burn easily, so stand and watch it under the broiler with full attention for 1-2 minutes until skin caramelizes and crispness advances. Once crispy to your liking, remove from oven and let rest.

Balsamic Fig and Wine Sauce for Roast Duck

Recipe by JGD’s

This sauce has the perfect balance of flavors, showcasing sweet summer figs and tart balsamic, each working harmoniously together to compliment this ultra-savory meal. Cuvaison 2019 Pinot Noir in this sauce blends in an even
greater layering of fruit flavors that works so tremendously well with crispy duck!


3 cups Figs, cut in half
1 cup Water
¼ cup Cuvaison 2019 Pinot Noir wine
3 Tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Lemon juice
Zest of one small Lemon

Let’s Begin:

1. Start by adding figs, water, wine, vinegar, lemon juice, and zest in a saucepan, heat on medium.
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a rolling simmer. Cook until fruit is tender, approx. 15-20 mins. Add additional water if water reduces too much while simmering. You want the fruit mostly covered in hot liquid.
3. Once fruit is tender, remove from heat and very carefully pour into blender.
4. Blend until smooth.
5. Add additional water if too thick, until it reaches a sauce consistency.
6. Taste! Add salt as needed. Stir.
7. To serve, spoon the fig sauce on a plate, then top with Roasted Duck breast (whole or sliced).

Leave a Reply