Spatchcock garlic, orange, and thyme duck with roast onions and zesty avocado zucchini salsa

duck roast with roast onions and avocado cucumber salsa

Co-op Calgary is running a mystery box recipe contest – the Home Cooked Challenge – for a chance to win a gift card. It’s not anything huge but was too fun to pass up! Just like Master Chef, they have chosen a selection of ingredients that must be used in the dish. This mystery box? Duck, onions, garlic, zucchini and avocado. I normally cook duck with a sweet or Asian inspired flavor, so I  had to really think about how to make these odd ball ingredients work together. I was pretty happy with my recipe, which I think really showcased everything in the mystery box!

If you like the recipe, voting is now live until February 2nd I really appreciate your votes!

NOTE: Thank you to everyone that voted, I wont the contest thanks to your support! 🙂

1 2kg Co-op Whole Duck

Duck dressing:
3 tbsp olive oil
Juice and zest of one orange
10 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
salt and pepper

Roast onions:
1 large brown onion
1 large red onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
10 sprigs thyme, whole
salt and pepper

For the salsa:
4 cups zucchini, diced
2 whole avocados, diced
juice and zest of one lime
1 tsp orange zest
3 tsp jalapeño, finely diced
1 tbsp chives, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper


1) Prepare the duck; clean with cold water and trim off excess fat, reserve the giblets for stock if desired. To spatchcock or “butterfly” the duck; using kitchen shears, cut along the one side of the backbone, from back to front, then cut along the other side. Remove the backbone and add to giblets if making stock. Once the backbone is removed, flip the bird over and press firmly in the center to flatten.

2) Place the duck, breast side up, in a large roasting pan and drizzle generously with olive oil. Prick the skin all over with a sharp knife.

3) In a small bowl, combine the orange juice and zest, thyme leaves, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar. Stir together until sugar dissolves.

Duck roast ingredients

4) Pour the vinegar orange mixture all over the duck, rubbing the thyme and orange zest into the skin. Season with salt and pepper.

5) Leave duck to marinade in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.

Duck roast spatchcock

6) Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

7) Place duck in the center rack of the preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes until golden brown and crispy. If liquid is dissolving, add a couple tbsp of water to the pan to prevent burning.

8) Cut the onions in half and then into quarters with large angled slices. Put in a small bowl, add rosemary, then dress with vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper.

roast onions

9) Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees, add 1 cup water and the onions to the pan, and cook a further 1 hour, checking once during cook time and stirring the onions.

10) Prepare the salsa; toss together all ingredients and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

11) Remove the duck from the oven and let rest 15 minutes before carving, serve with roast onions, avocado zucchini salsa and oranges to garnish – Enjoy!


Again, please vote here until February 2nd!

One comment

  1. My only question is whether that much liquid on the duck (not doing the sides) makes it steam rather than roast. Does it really get crispy??


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s