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8 Herbs And Spices that go Well with Duck

The best herbs and spices for duck are celery salt, sage, thyme, bay leaves, rosemary, marjoram, chives, cumin, cayenne, garlic, onion powder, nutmeg, allspice, black pepper, and/or cardamom. If you have a herb garden or are looking for some extra flavor, you can use other herbs such as oregano, basil, and/or thyme.

Read Also: Duck Confit Wine Pairing – The Best Wines for Duck Confit

Herbs And Spices that go Well with Duck

Duck is one of the most versatile poultry to cook, as it has a mild flavor that pairs well with a lot of different ingredients.

However, it can have a strong flavor if you don’t cook it correctly or don’t use the right ingredients.

Using duck for your meal plan doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s actually very easy to make delicious recipes using duck and the best way to use duck is to pair it with a few different flavors and ingredients.

So what herbs and spices go best with duck? Duck can pair really well with citrus like orange, lime, and lemon. It pairs well with some of the more traditional herbs including basil, tarragon, rosemary, sage, thyme, and bay leaves.

But, if you are looking for something more creative then here are some of the best herbs that go with duck.

8 Herbs And Spices that go Well with Duck

When it comes to cooking duck, you can try a wide variety of herbs and spices. In general, they go best with savory flavors including basil, bay leaves, cilantro, fennel, ginger, nutmeg, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

1. Star Anise

Star Anise

Star anise is one of the most aromatic spices, and it pairs beautifully with duck meat. Put it on the skin or inside the duck before roasting, and you will get a rich, woodsy fragrance from the spice.

2. Thyme


Much like rosemary, thyme lends a distinctive flavor to duck, which goes well with its natural fattiness. It can also be added to sauces to enhance the flavor.

3. Sichuan Pepper

Sichuan Pepper

This spice is very much a flavor enhancer, and works especially well when used in smaller amounts. Put a pinch of the dry powder on top of your duck when roasting, and you will find it adds a great amount of zing to your duck meat!

4. Ginger


While ginger is not often used when cooking duck, it is a wonderful ingredient that can add a lot to the overall flavor of a dish. It can be added to the broth for your duck before cooking, or placed directly on top of the duck once it is cooked. It can also be grated and added to sauces or dressings.

5. Rosemary


Rosemary can be used in many different ways with duck meat. While you probably wouldn’t want to eat rosemary with the duck, it can also be used as a flavoring agent for sauces and glazes. Much like thyme, it has a strong flavor, so make sure you use only what you like, and in the right amounts!

6. Basil


When you think of basil, you probably think of Italian dishes, but it is actually a fairly versatile herb, which you can also use in other dishes. You can either make a marinade using basil as an ingredient, or try adding it to a rub. Basil’s mild flavor is just the perfect accompaniment for duck meat, helping to bring out its natural sweetness.

7. Coriander


Although it is not really as common as some of the other herbs listed above, coriander is still one of the most versatile herbs available. It has a slightly citrus-like taste that goes well with most poultry and fish. You can also make a rub using coriander and salt to coat your bird.

8. Sage


This herb works so well with duck because it has a very unique aroma. Sage can be used to flavor both the marinade and rub, but the best way to enjoy this herb is to just sprinkle some on top of your duck when it is cooking. The aroma that you’ll experience as it roasts will be absolutely fantastic.

How Do You Use Herbs With Duck?

Duck is an easy-to-cook, healthy, and delicious food that you can prepare with a simple combination of herbs and spices.

Here is our Duck with herbs recipe:

Things you’ll need:

  • 1 duck breast (about 1⁄2 lb.)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of sage
  • 1 tablespoon of dill
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice


  1. Rinse the duck with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Season the duck breast with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  2. Place the seasoned duck in a large bowl, and then add the paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme, sage, dill, oregano, and sea salt to the bowl and stir well.
  3. Add the olive oil and lemon juice to the bowl, and mix well.
  4. Place the bowl of seasoned duck breast on a baking sheet or a baking dish, and roast for about 1 hour at 400ºF until the temperature reaches 145ºF.
  5. Allow the duck to cool, slice, and serve.

Best Ways To Cook Duck

Duck is a flavorful bird, but it is a bit challenging to cook. To really get the most out of duck you need to cook it properly.

You can use the duck legs for braising, stuffing or making confit, which is a fantastic way to enjoy this meat.

But, if you are looking for the best ways to cook duck, here are a few ideas.

For Searing

Duck Searing

Use duck legs for a quick and easy seared meal, as they are usually available in the supermarket and are an inexpensive source of protein.

To cook duck legs, just preheat your oven and then sear them over high heat until they are golden brown on all sides. If you are cooking a larger duck like a duck breast, sear it on the stovetop.

Next, season with salt, pepper, and spices of your choice. You can use a wide variety of herbs and spices, but here are some of our favorites: cinnamon, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves.

After that, place the duck in an oven at 400°F until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

For Braising

Duck Braising

You can also braise duck legs to make them tender and juicy, which is the best way to enjoy this meat.

If you want to learn more about how to braise, here are a few helpful tips to get you started.

Use a low heat, medium heat or even higher heat to simmer for a slow cook. If you cook with too high heat you risk drying out the meat. If you cook with low heat, it takes longer, but you won’t have to worry about drying out the meat.

To ensure that the meat stays tender, use a water bath to slow-cook the duck legs in a slow cooker. Place the duck in a slow cooker, fill the slow cooker with cold water and add enough salt and pepper to cover the duck.

Cook the duck on low for 5 hours. You can then remove the duck from the slow cooker and let it rest for 20 minutes before serving.

For Stuffing

Duck Stuffing

Stuffing is one of the best ways to enjoy duck meat. But, if you aren’t familiar with how to stuff a duck, here are a few tips. Start by placing the duck inside a large roasting pan. Then, rub the duck with olive oil. Next, season with salt and pepper.

Now, you can start stuffing the duck. You can stuff the duck with vegetables, bread crumbs or herbs. To ensure that the stuffing stays moist, use a moist stuffing. Place a layer of stuffing inside the duck’s cavity. Repeat this process until the stuffing reaches the top of the duck.

Next, place the duck in an oven at 350°F for 1 hour. After that, remove the duck from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes before serving.

For Roasting

Duck Roasting

If you want to roast your duck, it is best to use a slow cooker to ensure that it cooks evenly. To roast a duck, place the duck inside a slow cooker, fill the slow cooker with cold water and add enough salt and pepper to cover the duck.

Cook the duck on low for 8 hours. You can then remove the duck from the slow cooker and let it rest for 20 minutes before serving.


What flavors go well with duck?

Duck is a bit of a tricky meat to pair with other foods. You can go for rich flavors like truffles or figs, but it can be hard to find a balance.

We recommend trying the following:

How do you Flavour a duck?

If you want to flavour a duck, the easiest way is to marinate it. You can use this method to flavor any meat, but it’s especially useful for duck.

You’ll need to start by prepping your duck by removing any excess fat and then washing it.

Next, you’ll want to cut off the legs and thighs, and place them on a plate to one side.

Then, you’ll remove the skin from the breast and thighs, and cut the wings into two pieces.

Now, you’ll place the legs and thighs in a large bowl or container, and then add the breasts and wings to the bowl.

Next, you’ll pour in a bottle of your favourite marinade, and mix it all together well.

You can use any marinade, but we recommend that you use a marinade that has a strong scent so you can smell the flavour when the duck is cooked.

The marinade should be able to be refrigerated for a few days, and the duck will stay good for about three days, depending on how much you’ve used.

What do you put in the cavity of a duck?

The cavity of a duck can be filled with anything you want. We recommend stuffing it with apples, raisins, or even stuffing it with some meat.

If you want to make it a little more interesting then you can fill it with a few different herbs and spices.

What herbs go with duck breast?

Duck breasts are mild in flavor and don’t require much spice, so we recommend using simple herbs such as basil, bay leaves, and thyme. You can also try a bit of mint, rosemary, or tarragon for additional flavors.

What herbs go with duck legs?

Duck legs are a bit delicate, but they are rich and flavorful and are enhanced by many different flavors and spices. Some examples of herbs that go well with duck legs are basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, bay leaves, cilantro, dill, marjoram, and fennel.


Duck is one of my favorite meats, and I think you’ll find the flavor profile and aromas of duck very similar to chicken. This means you can really play around with your favorite seasonings and herbs to create some delicious dishes.

In fact, duck can stand up to a wide variety of flavors. It’s great with many sweet and savory spices like cinnamon, cumin, and cayenne.

You can also try it with rosemary and sage, which have a more mellow flavor than most other herbs.

And you’ll notice that duck has a very mild flavor, which means you can use less of the bolder seasonings without overpowering it.

I also recommend using duck in a stir-fry or in a curry because it has a lovely texture and adds a nice richness to those dishes.

Herbs And Spices that go Well with Duck

8 Herbs And Spices that go Well with Duck

Duck is generally very mild and doesn't need strong flavors to get noticed. The best herbs to use with duck are thyme, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, tarragon, basil, sage, and bay leaf. If you want some extra flavor, you can also add in a bit of paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, chili flakes, smoked paprika, or curry powder.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 6 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 10 kcal


  • Star Anise
  • Thyme
  • Sichuan Pepper
  • Ginger
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Coriander
  • Sage


  • Pick any of these tasty herbs and spices.
  • Use them on your duck to make a delicious meal.
  • Enjoy your dinner in no time!
Keyword Herbs And Spices that go Well with Duck
CEO at Happy Muncher | | Website | + posts

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.

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