Christmas Food Hack: Clementine Roast Duck With Spiced Red Cabbage

Food hack (n): a simple, quick recipe with a small number of ingredients, where the end result is greater than the sum of its parts.

Here Edwina McNulty shows you how to make delicious Clementine Roast Duck with Spiced Red Cabbage…

Can’t face another bog-standard roast on the 25th? Duck is so wonderfully festive and a substantially more tasty alternative to bland turkey. It’s almost as though we’ve been conditioned to eating turkey for Christmas dinner, but how many of us actually enjoy it, or even eat it at any other time of year?

True, it’s protein rich and very lean, but frankly that’s not something the majority of us want out of our yuletide feasts. We want something which feels like a treat, that we probably wouldn’t cook at other times of year, something delicious and comforting. My clementine roast duck really hits the spot, and it’s perfectly complemented by the spiced red cabbage. This recipe is full of hacks – duck can be very fatty, so one of the tricks to roasting this properly is to ensure that the fat is drained away, and I’ll show you how to do that here. The gravy is made ready made, and transformed by the addition of raspberry jam which cuts through the richness of the duck without being overpowering. A dash of branston pickle adds a sweet and sour dimension to the cabbage, where normally a dash of vinegar would be used.

And, in proper food hacks style, look out for two follow up recipes that are made with the leftovers, and are just as delicious!


1 x whole Gressingham Duck, aprox 2.5 kg
3 x clementines
Sprigs rosemary

Raspberry jam (or cranberry sauce or redcurrant jelly)
Bisto gravy

½ a red cabbage, shredded
1 small onion, diced
Handful of dried cranberries (sultanas will work well, but cranberries are more festive)
1 small apple, diced
¼ teaspoon mixed spice
1 x tablespoon branston pickle
1 x tablespoon sugar (brown if you have it)


1. Heat the oven to 170 degrees, place the duck on a wire rack on a roasting tin. Prick the skin of the duck with a sharp knife, particularly over the fatty bits, but be careful not to pierce the meat.

2. Rub the duck all over with salt. This will drain a lot of the fat out, making the duck much less stodgy.

3. Stab the clementines several times with a sharp knife and insert them into the cavity with a few sprigs of rosemary. They will steam inside the duck and imbue the meat with a lovely citrusy fragrance.

4. Cover the duck with tinfoil, and place in the oven for aproximately 2 hours.

5. Prepare the red cabbage. This re-heats nicely so it’s fine to make in advance. Softly fry the onion in some olive oil, then add the apple and cabbage. Once this has softened, add the remaining ingredients, and stir well.

6. Keep cooking on a medium heat for about 20 minutes. A lot of these recipes braise the cabbage until it’s soft, but I prefer mine with a bit of crunch.

7. The duck will be ready when the meat easily falls from the bone. Make up about half a pint of gravy and add a heaped tablespoon of raspberry jam, and mix well.

Edwina runs her own designer cake company: