Roast Wild Duck with Orange Glaze

As a passionate hunter, there’s something undeniably exhilarating about the changing seasons. It’s a reminder that nature’s cycles continue, and with each new season comes the promise of unique hunting adventures. Late spring and early fall in Southern Ontario are no exception. One such adventure that will forever be etched in my memory is a duck hunting expedition during this transitional period and a delicious recipe from our harvest.

Wild Duck with Orange Glaze:


For the Duck:

  • 2 wild ducks (mallards or other varieties)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme

For the Orange Glaze:

  • 1 cup fresh orange juice (about 3-4 oranges)
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Prepare the Ducks:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
    • Rinse the wild ducks inside and out with cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.
    • Season the ducks generously with salt and pepper, both inside and out.
  1. Sear the Ducks:
    • Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.
    • When the oil is hot, add the ducks, breast-side down. Sear them for 3-4 minutes on each side until they are nicely browned.
    • Add the fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs to the skillet.
  1. Make the Orange Glaze:
    • While the ducks are searing, in a separate saucepan, combine the fresh orange juice, orange zest, honey, orange marmalade, soy sauce, minced garlic, and grated ginger.
    • Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until it starts to thicken slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Apply the Glaze:
    • Once the ducks are seared, remove them from the skillet and discard the herbs.
    • Brush the ducks generously with the prepared orange glaze, making sure to coat them evenly.
  1. Roast the Ducks:
    • Place the seared ducks back into the skillet.
    • Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and roast for about 20-25 minutes or until the ducks reach your desired level of doneness (medium-rare to medium is recommended for wild duck, as it can become tough if overcooked).
    • Baste the ducks with the orange glaze every 10 minutes or so to build up a nice glaze on the outside.
  1. Rest and Serve:
    • Once the ducks are done, remove them from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes before carving.
    • Carve the ducks into serving portions and drizzle with any remaining orange glaze.
    • Garnish with additional orange zest or fresh herbs if desired.

Serve your Wild Duck with Orange Glaze with your favorite side dishes, such as roasted fall root vegetables or a wild rice pilaf.

Early mornings in late spring and early fall can be a bit chilly, but the excitement warms you from within. We set up our blinds along the marsh, carefully arranging decoys to mimic ducks feeding and resting on the water. As the sun began to rise, the world around us awakened.

The echoing calls of ducks overhead signaled the start of the hunt. The thrill of a well-executed shot, the anticipation as the ducks approached our decoy spread, and the satisfaction of a successful retrieve were all part of the experience. Each species that graced our blind was a testament to the diverse waterfowl population in Southern Ontario.

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