Roast duck walnut & freekeh stuffing

January 2022


  • 3/4 cup (125g) freekeh, rinsed, drained
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 6 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 1/4 cup (40g) dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbs pomegranate molasses
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbs walnut oil
  • 1/2 cup (50g) walnuts, chopped
  • 2kg whole duck
  • 12 pickling onions, peeled, halved
  • 350ml chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pomegranate seeds and watercress sprigs, to serve


  • 1
    Preheat the oven to 160ÂșC.
  • 2
    Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil over medium-high heat. Add freekeh, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 35 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
  • 3
    Heat 1 tbs oil in a deep frypan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened, then add the garlic and thyme, and cook for a further 1 minute or until fragrant. Add cranberries, pomegranate molasses, lemon zest and walnut oil, and season. Stir through the freekeh and walnuts, then cook for a further 3-4 minutes until heated through. Set aside to cool completely.
  • 4
    Trim the duck neck, fold over excess skin, then, using a needle and kitchen string, sew to the back of the duck to seal neck opening. Pack cooled stuffing into duck cavity, then sew cavity closed and tie the legs together with kitchen string.
  • 5
    Heat remaining 1 tbs oil in a large casserole over medium heat. Add the duck and cook, turning, for 6-8 minutes until golden on all sides, then remove from the pan. Drain all but 1 tbs fat from the casserole, then return casserole to medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until lightly caramelised, then add the stock and bay leaves.
  • 6
    Bring to a simmer, then place the duck, breast-side up, on top. Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 1 hour, then remove the lid and roast for a further 30 minutes or until golden. Remove the duck and set aside to rest, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes.
  • 7
    Strain the cooking liquid, skimming off any fat, then place in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes or until jus is slightly reduced.
  • 8
    Carve the duck and divide among 4 plates with the freekeh stuffing. Drizzle with the jus and serve with pomegranate seeds and watercress.