Duck Recipes for the Fall



Fall is the perfect time to perfect your duck dishes. First nail down your favorite rub, then look to the past, then check out what they’re cooking at Dark Horse restaurant in Riverhead.

Duck Rub:
For roast, barbecued, braised, grilled and other straightforward preparations from a Long Island Duck Cooperative pamphlet, 1960-1986, Eastport

1-1/2 T. salt; 1 tsp. pepper; 2 tsp. poultry powder seasoning; 2 tsp. sweet paprika; 1 tsp. garlic powder

Mix together and rub entire duck, under and outer skin and inside cavity (after pricking the skin thoroughly. Do not puncture the meat itself.)

Braised Duck
Long Island Duck Co-Op pamphlet
Cut a dressed duck into quarters.  Prick skin all over and rub generously with  Duck Rub. Lay the pieces flat, skin side down, in an electric frying pan set at 350 degrees, or a skillet  over moderate heat. Cover pan. After the duck has cooked for 20 minutes, turn the pieces, sprinkle with the rub, cover, and cook 20 more minutes. Repeat twice more, for a total of one hour cooking time. Serves 2-4 (4-1/2-5 lb. duck)

Moriches Bay Yacht Club Charcoal Barbequed Duck; Camp Paquatuck Fundraiser BBQ Duck
These two annual events, both in Center Moriches, use comparable recipes and cooking techniques.

Reduce charcoal in a charcoal grill to hot gray ash. Rub duck halves (one per person, all over and under skin with Duck Rub.  Place each piece of duck on a 9” X 15” sheet of heavy duty foil. Wrap loosely. Place on a grate set 5”-8” over the prepared charcoal. Cook, turning every 10 minutes, for 45-55 minutes. For crispier skin, remove from foil and place directly on the grate, skin side down, for last 10 minutes.

Mom’s Roast Duck
Judy Bernstein Hean, Manorville, New York

Rub a dressed duck all over, inside, outside and under the skin with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Place the duck in a roasting pan. Prick the duck thoroughly, top and bottom, through the skin, but not puncturing the meat.  Place the duck in a 450-degree oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Drain the fat from the pan. Prick the skin again. Continue pricking and draining every 20 minutes for about 2 hours, or until the “pulke”- the leg or “drumstick” moves freely and the juices run clear when the thigh is poked with a fork.

Fancy it Up: During the last 20 minutes, brush the duck with Cointreau, if desired; garnish with Brandied  Cherries or Mandarin Orange segments- preferably macerated in more of the Cointreau.  Serves 2-4

duck recipe pamphletConfit Duck Legs
Jeff Trujillo and Dee Muma, The Dark Horse Restaurant, Riverhead

8 raw duck legs with thigh

4 T. kosher salt

8 cloves whole fresh garlic

8 sprigs fresh thyme

8 stems fresh parsley

Rendered duck fat–enough to cover depth of duck pieces at least 1-1/2 inches

Smash the garlic with the flat of a chef’s knife. Add the herbs and roughly chop together. Add salt. Mix. Pat the mixture on all sides of each piece of duck. In a large flat dish or pan, place the duck pieces skin side up and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 24-48 hours.

After refrigerating: wipe off excess herbs. Place duck, skin side down, in a thick bottom stainless steel pot or brazier with 6” clearance between the duck and the top rim of the pot.  Cover the duck completely with at least 1-1/2 “ of duck fat.

Cook extremely slowly (barely bubbling) in a 250- 275 degree oven for approximately 4 hours (timing from when bubbling starts.) If cooked too quickly, the duck will not be moist enough.  When done, allow to cool, remove from fat and refrigerate. Save fat for future use.

To serve: heat 1” of duck fat in a large saute pan. When fat is 325 degrees, carefully slide duck legs into the pan, skin side down. Cook only long enough to heat through and crisp skin.

(Chopped parsley is a colorful garnish. Or serve with your favorite sauce.)

Feeling Brave Roast Goose
From the archives of Schiltz Foods, Inc., Sissiton, SD: market source of most domestic geese

12-14 lb. dressed goose

Salt and pepper

Cut away excess fat from both ends of the goose; render for future use. The rendered fat freezes well.

Salt the cavity. Prick the skin all over, avoiding puncturing the meat. A large needle, slated sideways, works well. Rub the entire bird with salt.

Place the goose on a rack in a large roasting pan. Cover the bottom of the pan with water to prevent spatter. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and roast the goose for one hour. Prick the skin, turn the goose, and prick the opposite side. Continue roasting, second side up,, pricking and turning again after another hour. Repeat twice more, for a total of 4 hours cooking time.

Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees.Continue roasting, pricking and turning, for a further 75 minutes.

Remove the goose from the oven; salt and pepper to taste. Let the goose rest 15 minutes prior to serving. Serves 4-6.

Goose Liver Pate/Terrine
I first made this for a party so many years ago that I’ve lost the origin of the recipe. It may or not be the same, since I tend to reach for different herbs and/or flavored salts when I’m cooking, depending on my mood.    Joan Bernstein

2 goose livers, trimmed, deveined

3 T. good butter

2 T. brandy I like Napoleon; I’ve also used Armanac)

1 finely chopped onion

2 oz. heavy cream

Kosher or sea salt, whole peppercorns, juniper berries, fresh thyme or marjoram, to taste and preference: crush the spices with a mortar and pestle to cracked or smooth consistency, depending on what you have determined will be the resulting texture of the terrine; mix with minced herbs.

Twigs of preferred herb for garnish


Season the livers.

Melt 1T. butter in a skillet. Add chopped onion and saute about 3 minutes, until transparent.

Turn the heat up and add the livers; cook two minutes, turn and cook two more minutes. Livers should be browned on the outside, very faintly pink on the inside. Add the brandy to the pan.

Deglaze the pan, if desired, with a splash of good red wine. Season the mixture with additional salt. Let cool slightly before adding the rest of the butter and the cream. Combine well.

In a food processor, either puree until smooth OR, for a country-style pate, process until roughly  chopped (comparable to coarse bread crumbs.) Correct seasoning.

Transfer into a terrine. Smooth the surface. Chill 3 hours, or until set. Garnish with herb twigs and serve with crunchy crackers.