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I am a great fan of Delia and have been enjoying “Delia Through the Decades” shown on the Food Network this week. The first episode showed her ‘foolproof’ roast duck recipe (from the “Complete Cookery Course”). As we have a duck each Christmas – and each year forget how we cooked it the previous year - I though that for a 6lb duck we could not go wrong with 20 minutes at 220oC then 3 hours at 180oC.

But then I did some further research. In her 1990 “Delia Smith’s Christmas” for a 5-6lb duck it the recipe gives the same temperatures, an initial 20 minutes at 220oC but the time at 180oC is reduced to 2.5 hours.

Then in “Delia Smith’s Winter Collection “ published in 1995 it says 30 minutes at 220oC then 2 hours at 180oC for a 6lb duck.

Finally in 1998 in “Delia’s How to Cook – Book 2” on page 101 it say ‘Roast duck at last!’ and as with her ‘Fast Roast Chicken with Lemon and Tarragon’ she is now into fast roasting. The recipe is on page 104 and, this time for a 4lb duck, it is 1 hour and 50 minutes at 230oC.

Can I take it that this last one is the definitive answer? And how long for a 6lb duck?

Lindsey, Food Editor

Roast Duck

Hello Dweeeb7,

As yours is a 6lb duck I would suggest you follow the Winter Collection version.

The fast roasting is more suitable for a smaller bird.

Best wishes


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