Spanish roasted duckling with harissa potatoes

By Nikki & Jordan Shearer

Featured in Capital #60
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Many of us are familiar with the New Zealand tradition of the “roast dinner”, usually reserved for occasions when all the whanau get together. Whole chickens, a slow-roasted lamb leg or crispy skinned pork usually feature.

We’ve decided to mix it up and challenge the tradition, turning to Spanish cuisine for inspiration – think smokey spices, sweet raisins and bitter chocolate!

Along with the unique food flavours of Spain, their fortified wine, or sherry, is also making a resurgence as an alternative to wine and the sweetest of them all is the gorgeous Pedro Ximenez sherry. We have used this as the base to our sauce, adding a depth of flavour that no other liquor could offer.

Duck can be purchased from Moore Wilsons. We used a size 18 duckling. To obtain a crispy skin, turn the temperature up to 220 degrees for the last 15 minutes of cooking time – no longer or you will dry the meat.

Serves 2-4

Roasted duckling


1 size 18 duckling, skin dried with a paper towel
1 Tbsp grated nutmeg
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp flakey sea salt
1 lemon, cut in half
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
olive oil
6 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 cup Pedro Ximenez sherry
cinnamon stick
2 cups unsalted chicken stock
4–6 large agria potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
2 Tbsp harissa paste
2 Tbsp duck fat
4 Tbsp ground semolina
finely chopped rosemary
50g bitter dark chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 170℃.
  2. Mix nutmeg, paprika, ground cloves and sea salt together and rub generously over the duck.
  3. In a large frypan, add 1Tbsp oil and sear the duck for 3 minutes each side until it starts to colour. Remove from heat and place the lemon and rosemary in the cavity. Place in a roasting dish.
  4. In the same pan sauté the shallots and garlic for 2 minutes. Pour in the sherry to deglaze pan. Add the stock and cinnamon stick. Simmer for 5 minutes. Pour over the duck.
  5. Cover and bake for 2 ½ hours (45 minutes per kg).
  6. Increase temperature to 220℃ and bake for a further 15 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven.
  7. While the duck is cooking parboil the potatoes. This will not take long, as you want them to be still firm. Drain and cool.
  8. In a large bowl add the harissa, melted duck fat, semolina, rosemary and salt. Mix through the cool potatoes, coating all surfaces.
  9. Lay potatoes out on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place in the oven after the duck has been cooking for 2 hours. Continue to roast when the temperature has been increased, turning once.
  10. Remove duck from the liquor, cover with tinfoil and rest. While the duck is resting the potatoes will get crispy and golden at the higher temperature.
  11. Simmer the cooking liquor over a medium heat until reduced by half. Sieve and whisk in the chocolate. Keep warm until serving.
  12. We served this with roasted almonds and a kale, nectarine and pecorino salad.


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