Whole boneless duck with fig and hazelnut stuffing

Chef Danielle Alvarez of Fred's in Sydney is opting for duck this Easter Sunday.
Chef Danielle Alvarez of Fred's in Sydney is opting for duck this Easter Sunday.  Photo: William Meppem

Duck is so beautiful with the crispy skin and dried fruit inside. Ask a butcher to bone out a whole duck for you. If you can’t get a butcher to do this, you can cook it whole by putting the filling in the cavity. You’ll just have to cook it a bit longer. You need to prepare the stuffing two days ahead, but it is very simple. You may want to begin Good Friday, so you have a gorgeous roast for Easter Sunday.


6 dried figs (or six fresh figs roasted until concentrated and golden)

red wine

1 whole 2-3kg boneless duck (muscovy or pekin, if possible)

50g butter

80g diced onion

100g fresh breadcrumbs

100ml cream

250g pork mince

30g hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

2 tsp chopped thyme

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/4 tsp ground bay leaf

1/8 tsp ground cloves

salt and black pepper 


1. Two days before you want to serve this, soak the figs overnight in a little red wine. The next day, remove them from the wine and roughly chop.

2. Saute the onions in butter until soft and translucent and set aside and allow to cool. In a small bowl soak the breadcrumbs in the cream for at least 15 minutes.

3. Mix together the figs, onions, crumbs, mince, hazelnuts, herbs and spices. Season the duck on both sides, place skin side down and put a mound of stuffing inside of duck. Pull the duck flesh up and around, folding as you would an envelope and ensuring all the stuffing is neatly encased.

4. Using separate pieces of butchers' string, tie the duck in four or five places to secure, then refrigerate uncovered overnight or for two nights.

5. The day you want to cook it, remove it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Cook it at 180C for 45 minutes to one hour, until the internal temperature reaches 160C and the skin is golden. Allow it to rest before slicing.

Serve with Danielle's persimmon and raddichio salad, and her burnt butter pear and cardamon tart.