Rum and pomegranate roast duck with walnut and apple stuffing

Rum and pomegranate roast duck with walnut and apple stuffing

Recipe by Rachel Zammit Cutajar

Photo by Rachel Zammit Cutajar

Turkey is traditional on Christmas Day but unless you’re feeding a large number of people, a lot of it goes to waste. How long could you possibly eat leftovers for? If your family gathering is small this festive season, try going for a different type of bird with a festive flair. Roast duck is deliciously moist and gets its festive flair rom the rum and pomegranate.

Rum and pomegranate roast duck with walnut and apple stuffing

Serves 4


  • 1 whole duck
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 3 whole sprigs rosemary
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • ½ cup spiced rum

Walnut and apple stuffing

  • 1 large baguette, cut into small chunks
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 150g pancetta, cut into cubes
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 apples, cored and cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 200g walnuts
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup spiced rum 
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds only


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. 
  2. Remove giblets from the cavity of the duck and reserve for use in another recipe.
  3. Pat the duck dry and cut off any excess skin and the tips of the wings to prevent burning.
  4. Score the fat on the breast of the duck making sure to go all the way down to the meat. 
  5. Add the chopped rosemary, orange zest, salt and pepper to a pestle and mortar and grind until the paste is a little wet. 
  6. Rub the duck with the paste and put in a baking tray.
  7. In a separate bowl mix together the orange juice, pomegranate juice and rum and pour over the duck, filling the bottom of the try by about 2cm. Add more juice if necessary.
  8. Place the rosemary sprigs in the bottom of the pan.
  9. Roast in the oven for 2 hours 30 mins basting with liquid every 15-20 mins. 
  10. Remove from the oven and cover loosely with foil to rest. 
  11. To make the stuffing, put the bread cubes in a baking tray, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
  12. Bake in the oven for approx. 10 mins until toasted and set aside. 
  13. In a frying pan over medium heat, gently fry the pancetta until crispy on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  14. In the same pan, fry the onion and apples in the remaining pancetta fat until translucent – approx. 10 mins.
  15. Stir in the rosemary and walnuts and remove from the heat.
  16. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, chicken stock and spiced rum. 
  17. Add the bread cubes and mix until coated.
  18. Add to the apple and walnut mixture and stir through.
  19. Place in a baking tray and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 35 mins until crispy on the top.
  20. Place the stuffing around a large dish with the roasted duck in the centre.
  21. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and rosemary sprigs and serve immediately.