Roasted Duck with Lemons
Anatra Povera

*required fields

thank you!
Thank you for e-mailing a recipe to your friend.
home or Register

recipes  /  Roasted Duck with Lemons this recipe: Print
Roasted Duck with Lemons
Anatra Povera
cookbook: Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy
main ingredients: duck
user comments (1)

serves: 4 - 6 servings

This crispy-skinned duck is delicious but definitely not fancy. Povera means "poor," and this is a rustic family-style dish, with relatively few ingredients and simple preparation. The duck is roasted whole and basted with a whisked-together dressing of lemon juice, wine, and olive oil. It crisps up beautifully, and the pan juices make a great sauce. You don't have to fuss much with the serving, either. For a family meal, I chop the bird into small pieces, pile them up on a platter and let people pick the pieces they like. For a more orderly dinner, the duck can be quartered to serve four nicely.


1 whole duck, about 5 pounds with giblets and neck
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chicken stock


Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven, and heat to 400 degrees. Remove all clods of fat from the duck cavities, and trim any loose flaps of skin. Rinse the bird, including the giblets and neck, and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle a teaspoon of the salt inside the belly cavity, and push in the rosemary sprigs. With the breast side up, twist and fold the wing tips so they stay in place under the bird. Cross the legs over the cavity opening and tie the ends together tightly with kitchen twine.

Chop the duck neck into two or three pieces, and scatter in the bottom of a roasting pan, along with the giblets, under or around the wire rack. Set the duck, breast side up, on the roasting rack in the pan. Whisk the wine, lemon juice, and olive oil vigorously together until emulsified, and pour this all over the duck skin. Sprinkle the remaining 2 teaspoons salt over the bird, making sure that the sides are moistened and salted as well as the breast.

Roast the duck for an hour, breast up, then baste it all over with the pan juices, using a bulb baster or large spoon-tilt the roasting pan carefully to scoop up the liquid. Continue to roast for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours, basting the bird every 30 minutes or so, until it is dark gold and very crisp all over. Remove the duck to a platter, take out the rack, and gather the giblets and neck pieces onto the platter, too.

Carefully pour the hot juices from the pan into a fat separator (or other heatproof container), and let the fat gather on top. Pour the good juices out of the separator into the roasting pan. If you don't have a separator, spoon off all the fat first, then pour in a cup or more of stock, so you have at least 1 1/2 cups liquid to deglaze the pan and cook into sauce.

Set the roasting pan over medium-high heat on top of the stove, and bring the liquids to a boil, vigorously scraping up all the caramelized bits on the bottom of the pan. Let the juices reduce until slightly thickened and flavorful, then turn off the heat.

In the meantime cut up the duck into small pieces to serve family-style. First split open the breast, cutting through the center of the breast bone with poultry shears or a chef's knife. Cut along the backbone to divide the bird in half, then slice each half into a wing, leg, thigh, and two or three breast pieces. Pile the cut pieces on a serving platter, along with the roasted neck and giblet morsels. Keep warm and when the sauce is ready pour the pan sauce all over. Let people take the pieces they like the most.

Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy w/FREE 30-min. DVD

Lidia's Lastest Cookbook! "Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy" features 175 regional recipes from 12 regions of Italy, PLUS, for limited time only, get a FREE 3-minute DVD along with the book. Get your autographed copy today!

Add To Cart

Food Books and Dvds Tableware

Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking
Lidia brings viewers on a road trip into the heart of Italian-American cooking.
buy now ›
read more ›

Enjoy Lidia's pastas and sauces!
buy now ›

Lidia's Stoneware Collection

buy now ›

Sign up now for access to
recipes, tips, and more!

Becoming a member of the Community Table is easy and free!
Please fill out the required fields below.
*required fields

sign in information
about you

Welcome to the Community Table. Please sign in to
access your recipe box, photos, discussions,
and personal settings.

Forgot password?
Not a member? Join now!