Roasted Duck with Tangy Yuzu Glaze

Roasted Duck with Tangy Yuzu Glaze
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About This Recipe

On a cool evening as the sun sets over the sprawling vineyards of Napa Valley, there's nothing quite as warming as a dish that embodies both tradition and innovation. This is precisely what I aimed for when crafting my Roasted Duck with Tangy Yuzu Glaze. The juxtaposition of the hearty roasted duck with the sharp, citrusy notes of the yuzu - a flavor I stumbled upon during a trip to an Asian farmers market in San Francisco - was nothing short of culinary poetry.

When crafting this dish, my memories took me back to those breezy wine country evenings, the gentle hum of conversation filling local eateries, and the ever-present allure of a good wine. Duck, with its rich flavors and delectable crispy skin, provides a canvas robust enough to handle the boldest of wines, while the yuzu glaze, tangy with a touch of sweet, whispers tales of exotic locales and summery zest.

So, what wine does one pair with such a plate? Considering the depth of the duck and the vivacity of the yuzu, a Napa Pinot Noir, particularly one from Robert Sinskey Vineyards, would be ideal. This wine's juicy red fruit character combined with a hint of earthiness would play well with the duck, while its bright acidity complements the yuzu's zest. For those who lean towards white wine, a Sauvignon Blanc from Frog's Leap brings the right balance of citrusy notes and minerality to elevate the flavors of the dish.

Accompany this delightful roasted duck with simple roasted vegetables sourced from local Napa farms. I personally love grabbing fresh produce from the Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa - a haven for anyone passionate about farm-to-table ingredients. As for dessert? A light panna cotta infused with lavender from Matanzas Creek Winery's lavender gardens, paired with a Late Harvest Riesling, would be a splendid way to round off the meal.

While Napa is known for its iconic wineries, the real wine country is sprinkled with lesser-known gems that only locals, like yours truly, might direct you to. If you're ever meandering up Highway 29, do make a pitstop at Turnbull Wine Cellars. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is a song in a bottle and their beautiful gardens make for an enchanting wine tasting backdrop.

With its Mediterranean-like climate and vast stretches of undulating vineyards, Napa is a melting pot of flavors, cultures, and stories. This Roasted Duck with Tangy Yuzu Glaze isn't just any recipe; it's a slice of Napa, a melding of its rich wine heritage with its ever-evolving culinary scene. Whether you're a local, a visitor, or someone dreaming of this wine country from afar, know that every bite you take is a journey through valleys kissed by the sun, breezy vineyard terraces, and the very soul of this magical place.

For those looking to explore beyond the usual tourist trail, drive up to the Mount Veeder area. Here, amidst the thickets of the bay laurel trees and sprawling nature, you'll find wineries that offer not just exquisite wines but also panoramic views of our beautiful valley. And, if you're making this duck dish at home, let the aromas and flavors transport you right here, to the heart of Napa, with its tales of vines, wines, and culinary finds.

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Yuzu

Yuzu: An Exotic Citrus Burst

Hailing from East Asia, yuzu is a small citrus fruit that has become a treasured ingredient in many global cuisines. Its unique taste—a blend of tart lemon, sweet mandarin, and a hint of grapefruit zest—has the power to transform dishes with its invigorating punch. Rich in vitamin C and boasting numerous health benefits, yuzu is not just a flavor enhancer; it's a nutritional powerhouse.

But what truly sets yuzu apart is its versatility. In our Roasted Duck with Tangy Yuzu Glaze recipe, it serves as a bridge, seamlessly melding the rich, savory notes of the duck with the zesty, sweet-and-sour profile of the glaze.

How to Perfectly Roast Your Duck

Achieving Crispy Skin and Tender Meat

  1. Dry the Duck: Before roasting, ensure the duck's skin is thoroughly dried using paper towels. This step helps achieve that much-desired crispy skin.
  2. Room Temperature: Allow the duck to come to room temperature before cooking. This ensures even cooking and tender meat.
  3. Rack and Roasting Pan: Using a rack in a roasting pan helps the heat circulate around the duck, ensuring even cooking and allowing fat to drip off.
  4. Basting: Remember to baste the duck every 30 minutes with the yuzu glaze. This not only infuses the meat with flavor but also keeps it moist and tender.
  5. Resting: After roasting, let the duck rest for at least 15 minutes. This allows juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring a moist result.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I substitute yuzu juice with another citrus juice? While yuzu has a unique flavor, you can substitute it with a mix of lemon and lime juice for a similar tangy kick.
  2. What can I do with the leftover duck fat? Duck fat is culinary gold! Save it and use it for roasting potatoes or sautéing vegetables for a rich, savory flavor.
  3. How long can I store leftover roasted duck? Stored in an airtight container, leftover roasted duck can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  4. I'm allergic to soy. What can replace soy sauce in the glaze? Coconut aminos or tamari can serve as a soy-free alternative, both offering a similar savory depth to the dish.
  5. Can I prepare the yuzu glaze in advance? Absolutely! The glaze can be made 2-3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Just whisk it well before using.

Tips for Success

  1. Yuzu Zest: To extract maximum flavor, when zesting the yuzu, ensure you only get the bright outer layer. The white pith underneath can be bitter.
  2. Check for Doneness: To ensure the duck is cooked perfectly, use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should read 165°F (74°C) when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.
  3. Pairing with Wine: As mentioned, a Napa Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc pairs wonderfully with this dish. However, feel free to explore and find a wine that sings to your palate!

Incorporating these insights and tools will help you craft a dish that not only pays homage to Napa Valley's rich culinary tradition but also wows your guests with its impeccable flavors and presentation.

Recipe Overview

Roasted Duck with Tangy Yuzu Glaze
Lily Anderson
4 servings
Calories Per Serving:
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:

Ingredients List


  • 1 whole duck (about 4-5 lbs)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 tablespoons yuzu juice (fresh or bottled)
  • 1 tablespoon yuzu zest (or lemon zest if unavailable)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional for some heat)
  • Fresh herbs (like rosemary or thyme) for garnish

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Pat the duck dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. In a bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, yuzu juice, yuzu zest, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes. Whisk well to combine.
  4. Brush the duck with a portion of the yuzu glaze, ensuring it's well coated.
  5. Place the duck, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour some water at the base to prevent the drippings from burning.
  6. Roast the duck in the preheated oven for 90 minutes, basting with the yuzu glaze every 30 minutes.
  7. Once roasted, remove the duck from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.
  8. Serve slices of roasted duck drizzled with any remaining yuzu glaze and garnished with fresh herbs.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

Get ready to experience the rich flavors and unique culinary delights that embody the essence of wine country living. Happy cooking!

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