My grandmother's recipe

Według przepisu mojej babci

  • 4lb whole duck

For the stuffing:

  • 1 cup of organic buckwheat groats (unroasted)
  • handful of champignon mushrooms (8-10)
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 white onion
  • 4 slices of bacon

For the marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil
  • 1 tspn. of salt
  • 1 tspn. of pepper
  • 1 tspn. of marjoram leaves

Roasted duck is a traditional dish found across many regions of Poland but it has an especially important place on the menu of the Lesser Poland region. It’s one of the most iconic dishes of the Old Polish cuisine. A noble meat, it was a popular item on the dining tables of Poland’s royalty and nobility, who largely resided in this area when Kraków was the capitol of Poland. It is no wonder that the locals have preserved this great recipe in their culinary cannon. Today, Kraków’s roasted duck is a gourmet item on the menu of many restaurants throughout the city specializing in Polish cuisine. It’s a truly delicious and elegant dish!

You’ll be surprised that it’s also quite a simple dish to prepare. With a little bit of patience you can achieve a delicious roasted duck with a light texture and flavor. Traditionally a Krakow - style duck is served over a bed of buckwheat cooked in a broth from the roasted duck, but the recipe I share on Flavor of Poland is my grandmother’s recipe. In this version, we’ll add the buckwheat to the duck as a stuffing, giving the meat a more tender taste.

Combined with the buckwheat filling this dish not only contains a lot of nutritional benefits but can also serve as a full meal on a plate!

Smacznego! (Enjoy!)

Prep the meat…
  • Thoroughly clean the duck (inside and out), remove any innards and then pat it down to dry. Make sure the duck is completely dry before moving on to the next step.
  • Prepare the marinade by combining the grapeseed oil, salt, pepper and marjoram leaves in a small bowl. Whisk together until smooth.
  • Place the duck into a heatproof casserole dish and begin applying the marinade to the duck covering it thoroughly inside and out.
  • Cover the dish with a lid and place the duck into the fridge for about two hours to allow the meat to absorb the flavors of the marinade.

Next, prepare the stuffing…
  • Cook the buckwheat in a medium sized saucepan. Stir the groats into 2 cups of water (use one-part buckwheat to two parts water) and add a pinch of salt to taste. Cover the pot with a lid, set to a medium heat level and let cook for about 15 minutes, stirring periodically. You’ll know the buckwheat is ready once it has absorbed all of the water.
  • Fry the bacon over a medium heat in a frying pan until it achieves a delicate rosy tone – just to get it started. Do not fry to a full crisp.
  • Add the white and red onions in over the bacon and continue to fry, stirring them together. Fry until onions achieve a light, golden color.
  • Add the mushrooms to the ingredients on the frying pan. Allow mushrooms to release their liquid. Once the liquid has fully evaporated the mixture in the pan will be done.
  • Set the cooked buckwheat and the mix of ingredients on the pan aside to cool.
  • Once everything has cooled, combine the buckwheat with the mushroom, onion and bacon mix in a separate bowl.
    • Optional: For some added freshness in the stuffing, finely chop a few stems of fresh parsley leaf and mix into the stuffing.

Prepare the duck for roasting…
  • Remove marinated duck from the fridge.
  • Truss the duck from neck. Pinch the skin about an inch deep and use a culinary trussing needle and twine to stitch the end together. This ensures that the stuffing does not fall out of the duck while roasting.
  • Begin adding the stuffing in on the other side. Once done, secure the other end of the duck with the trussing needle and twine. Again, pinch the skin about a half inch to an inch deep to ensure that it doesn’t come apart while roasting.
  • Place the duck, belly down back into the dish, cover with a lid and place in the oven set to 375º Fahrenheit.
  • Roast the duck for 1.5 hours at 375º Fahrenheit, then lower the temperature to 320º Fahrenheit and remove the lid. Continue to roast for another half hour, making sure to baste the duck frequently during that last half hour.

Serve and enjoy…
  • Once the duck is finished roasting and has achieved a nice, golden color, remove from the oven and transfer over to a serving platter.
  • Garnish with greens such as kale and thyme leaves. You can also add slices of pear or fresh cranberry.
  • Cut and enjoy with a glass of your favorite red wine!