One chef, one recipe: Slow roast duck with hoisin roast gravy by Chef Shaun Kenworthy

Chef Shaun Kenworthy takes the mystery out of roast duck. Yes, you can definitely try this at home
Chef shaun kenworthy
Chef Shaun Kenworthy has lived in India for over two decades now

Shaun Kenworthy has had a storied career as a chef. UK-born and bred, he began his career as a pastry chef in Yorkshire, Manchester, and London. In London, he worked in some of the best gourmet addresses in town. At age 25, he was voted amongst the top 10 pastry chefs in London.

He came to India two decades ago and has never looked back since. Chef Kenworthy has essayed a number of leadership roles in the Indian hospitality industry including executive chef for India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, and executive chef for the Park group of hotels. He revamped the menu of the legendary Flurys pastry shop and tearoom. 

Chef Shaun Kenworthy brings with him European cooking techniques and traditions as well as non-purist styles. He likes to focus on fresh ingredients and presentation. Now based in Kolkata, Chef Kenworthy’s latest projects include Octa, a restaurant and pub on Park Street, and pop-ups at the Glenburn Penthouse, both in Kolkata.  

As a consultant to the hospitality industry, Chef Kenworthy has been involved in over 100 projects. He is also a director of IIHM hotel schools. In his free time, he likes to write about food and his travels. 

Slow roast duck
Slow roast duck. Image: Shutterstock

Slow roast duck recipe


1 duck, around 2kg

2 small oranges

Handful coarse salt

200ml water

600gm diced pumpkin (skin on)

600gm diced sweet potato (skin on)

Pinch of pepper

1tsp cornflour

1 glass red wine

1 tbsp hoisin sauce


Chef Kenworthy’s version of slow roast duck comes with pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and a hoisin roast gravy.

You’ll need a good-sized duck, around 2kg. Place into a roasting tin on a wire rack. Give it a good poke all over with the point of a knife, a rubdown with coarse salt, and leave it out at room temperature for a good hour to remove some of the moisture from the skin, before patting it dry with kitchen paper.

Next halve two small oranges, pushing them into the cavity. Pour around 200ml of water into the tray before covering tightly with foil and popping it into an oven for 3 hours at 140 degrees Centigrade, before removing and allowing it to rest for half an hour before removing the foil.

Next lift the duck out on the wire rack, reserving the cooking juices in a small saucepan, before skimming off that delicious duck fat and returning that back to the tray with 600gm of coarsely diced pumpkin, the same quantity of sweet potatoes, both with skin on. Season with salt and pepper, toss together, and roast at 200 degrees Centigrade for 30 minutes before removing and placing over the top of the wire rack with the duck, and cooking for a further 30 minutes or until the duck skin is crisp.

Slow roast duck with hoisin gravy by chef shaun kenworthy
Slow roast duck with the hoisin gravy, which Chef Shaun Kenworthy just loves. Image courtesy: Shaun Kenworthy

As for the sauce, bring to a simmer the cooking juices which you reserved in a saucepan, with a glass of red wine, a good tablespoon of hoisin sauce (Chef Kenworthy loves hoisin sauce with duck), simmer for 10 minutes before thickening with a little cornflour and water. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, before serving. 

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