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Side dishes to go with roasted duck?

I'm making a belated Valentine's dinner for me and my boyfriend on Sunday, and I would like some suggestions on what to serve with duck. I'm going to be making a whole roast duck with a sour cherry glaze. Sides cannot contain mushrooms, as my man is allergic to them, but other than that, there are no dietary concerns.

I'd sort of like to serve potatoes of some kind with the duck, though I don't have any concrete ideas as to what I want to do with the potatoes.

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  1. Roast potatoes and peas are my standard accompaniments to roast duck.

    Such a rich meat (usually with a strong sauce or glaze) needs simple accompaniments.

    1. Like Harters, I think potatoes and duck just belong together. If you can contrive to roast them with duck fat, so much the better, but depending on how you cook the duck, that might have to be in a separate pan.

      For a green, I'd do sauteed beet greens, or chard in a pinch (beet greens are mellower, but harder to find).

      1. I also sometimes serve roasted potatoes with duck, but If I'm in the mood for something a little more decadent, I like Potatoes Dauphinoise, Potatoes Anna or Scalloped potatoes with duck.

        When I'm not in the mood for potatoes, I like a wild rice blend pilaf with duck.

        I usually serve braised red cabbage with duck, or green beans dressed with olive oil and balsamic. Maybe an arugula salad to start.

        1. agree about potatoes with duck. i slice them very thinly on a mandoline and layer them with olive oil, thyme and salt. cover with foil for an hour then roast another hour uncovered. crunchy top and bottom with soft layers in between. b/f loves these.

          i usually serve green beans and a carrot salad for which i make an orange flower water vinaigrette.

          3 Replies
          1. re: hotoynoodle

            Hi - what type of potatoe would you recommend for this please?

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              Your recipe for crunchy potatoes to have with duck - you say to cover with foil for an hour - do you mean cook them covered for an hour or just leave in the kitchen or fridge? Sounds lovely and I would like to give it a go.

              1. re: MagsofStourport

                bake at first covered with foil and then finish uncovered. this way they are mostly cooked and then uncovered to crisp up.

            2. Given your glaze, I'm guessing you'll want European sides. I also like the potatoes idea. Boiled fingerling potatoes browned in the rendered duck fat or perhaps Spaetzle or Nudelin. I really like red cabbage braised in vinegar, butter and brown sugar with duck.

              1. I'm going to disagree with everyone. I love spaetzle with duck. I think a sage and brown butter sauce could be awesome with the cherry glaze.

                1 Reply
                1. re: katecm

                  how does this disagree with me and rbjh20?

                2. My iniital response was to think of what I would usually have with turkey...mashed potatoes, green beans, some sort of fruit-based chutney. Then in reading the other posts, started letting my mind wander. I like the red cabbage suggestion. I would add maybe some sauteed broccoli rabe or other semi-bitter green.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: njmarshall55


                    Duck is rich and fatty. Bitter greens or salty cabbage dressed with vinegar would be good.

                  2. A very traditional potato dish that would be lovely with the roasted duck is potatoes, diced in an even cut about 1/3" on a side, sauteed with a shallot and duck fat, tossing often, until golden and crispy on all sides. Perfect to soak up the pan juices of the duck.

                    Caramelized brussel sprouts with pancetta would be an excellent vegetable, perhaps finished with some hazelnut oil and toasted hazelnuts for crunch.

                    You might also consider just using the breasts for service, and sauteeing them to rare with rendered fat and crisp skin. Save legs or braise those as a contrasting style of meat. Use the rest of the carcass for duck stock for your sauce, and to render fat for the sauteeing you need to do.

                    1. Red cabbage is a classic French accompaniment to duck. My favorite recipe is a bit on the sweet-and-sour side:

                      Melt a few tbsp of butter (or even better, duck fat) in a Dutch oven, then add:

                      1 small head of red cabbage, shredded
                      2 Granny Smith or other tart apples, peeled, cored and shredded
                      1/2 cup red currant jelly
                      1/4 cup cider vinegar
                      1/4 cup water
                      Pinch of salt

                      Simmer gently for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Delicious stuff.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: BobB

                        That's a classically German choice, too ;-)

                      2. I roasted a duck for Valentine's Day dinner. In the roasting pan I put 1 pound of cut up potatoes, and a pound of cut up golden beets. Roasted in the duck fat, they turned out very well, and the beet's earthiness completed the duck very well. On the side there was a wild rice pilaf, and for something lighter, roasted asparagus with a generous squeezing of lemon juice - the acid worked well against the duck.

                        1 Reply
                        1. Chive nockerli (aka spaetzle) and individual broccoli custards.

                          1. I love lentils with a roasted duck.

                              1. I think you can do fruitier flavours with Duck.

                                I once cooked a Damson Plum Oat Groat "risotto" to go with a roasted Mallard. ie a "rissotto" made from whole oats and some sour plums (Damsons) and a little white wine. (but no Parmesan) .
                                Alternatively as the "rice" you could use Farro (Emmer) or Gruenkern which is the unripe Spelt grains - they are very popular in Germany,

                                Other suggestions. Sauted in butter Savoy Cabbage, or Cavalo Nero, Kale. with some roasted potatoes. or just a mash.

                                1. I made a duck recipe from epicurious where you both braise and pan sear different parts of the duck. This recipe braised parsnips with the duck. They were delicious with enough peppery bite to balance the unctuous duck.

                                  1. I have used the following recipe with Roast Goose, but am going to serve it this Sunday with Roast Duck:

                                    CHEDDAR POTATOES

                                    4 cups grated smoked cheddar cheese
                                    3 cups heavy cream
                                    heat cream and add cheese a little at a time

                                    Butter a casserole dish.
                                    3 lbs baking potatoes sliced 1/8 inch thick
                                    layer potatoes and sauce
                                    cover with reserved grated cheese
                                    bake 350
                                    40-45 minutes

                                    I will garnish the serving plate with pickled watermelon rind and fresh mint leaves.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: omaest

                                      That looks dangerous. Delicious, but dangerous. I'll be making it this weekend.