Roasted Duck Legs with Black Pepper Sauce

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These roasted duck legs with black pepper sauce are suitable for either daily meals or special occasions. The duck legs are juicy and the sauce is savory with some heat from the black pepper.

a plate of roasted duck legs with black pepper sauce

I already shared several recipes to cook duck legs that don’t involve any complex technique. Today’s recipe is also a no-fuss one, and these delicious roasted duck legs can be put on both Asian and Western dinner tables.

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Ingredients

Here are the main ingredients you’ll need for this roasted duck legs recipe:

plates and bowls containing ingredients for this roasted duck legs recipe

The black pepper sauce has similar flavor profile to the one in my black pepper beef recipe.

Preparation

Before marinating and roasting the duck legs, there are two prepping steps I like to do:

  • Lightly pierce the meat to help the marinade penetrate better and score the skin to help render the fat and crisp up the skin more easily.
  • Rub the duck legs with some crushed ginger, salt, and rice wine (or sake) to remove excess gamy odor. This is a traditional way to prepare duck in Vietnamese cooking.
rubbing duck legs with ginger, salt and wine

If you are short on time, it is okay to skip these steps. They don’t take too much time to do though.

After that, we marinate the meat side with the black pepper and seasonings. If some of the marinade gets on the skin, pat it dry. Part of the marinade will be reserved to make the black pepper sauce. 

marinate the meat side of the duck legs

The duck legs can be marinated for 1-2 hours or overnight. If you are in a hurry, you can shorten the marinating time. We will prepare some black pepper sauce to serve with the duck legs, so the dish will still be flavorful even with a shorter marinating time.

Cooking Notes

Now we are left with two straightforward cooking steps: roast the duck and make the sauce.

1️⃣ Roast the duck legs skin side up in the oven until cooked through. During the last few minutes, you can increase the heat (or change to broiling) to make the skin golden brown.

four roasted duck legs on the baking tray

2️⃣ While roasting the duck, simmer the reserved marinade until slightly thickened. This may take around 10 minutes or so.

How To Serve

You can serve these roasted duck legs with black pepper sauce and either steamed rice or roasted/boiled potatoes on the side. Here’s my all time favorite crispy roasted potatoes recipe by Serious Eats.

a plate of roasted duck legs served with black pepper sauce and potatoes
a plate of chopped roasted duck legs, served with black pepper sauce and rice

If you choose to serve them with rice, you can decide to leave them whole or cut/chop into 2-3 smaller parts. The easiest option is, of course, to leave them whole, then place each duck leg on a bed of rice on a plate and provide forks and knives.

⭐️ I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment and a rating if you have tried it. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on FacebookYoutubePinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.

a plate of chopped roasted duck legs with black pepper sauce

Roasted Duck Legs with Black Pepper Sauce

These roasted duck legs with black pepper sauce are suitable for either daily meals or special occasions. They can be put on both Asian and Western dinner tables.
Author: Sophie
5 from 2 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 2 hours
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients
 

  • 4 duck legs
  • 2 oz ginger, peeled and crushed, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup rice wine or sake
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns, crushed (see Notes for more details)
  • 2 tablespoons lightly crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoons shaoxing wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil (or replace with vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions
 

  • Lightly pierce the meat side of the duck legs and score the skin. Avoid cutting through the skin.
  • In a large bowl or tray, rub the duck legs with half of the crushed ginger and all of the salt and rice wine (or sake). Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the remaining crushed ginger, crushed black peppercorns, garlic, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, shaoxing wine, sugar and sesame oil. Stir to combine.
  • Pat dry the duck legs. Use a shallow plate or tray which is large just enough to snuggle the duck legs on a single layer. Add about 6 tablespoons (90ml) of the marinade to the plate/tray. Then arrange the duck legs on a single layer to marinate the meat side. Alternatively, pour 1½ tablespoons of marinade over the meat side of each duck leg, then place them skin side up.
  • If some of the marinade gets onto the skin of the duck legs, pat dry. Marinate for about an hour (or you can marinate overnight in the refrigerator). Reserve the remaining marinade to make the black pepper sauce later.
  • Preheat the oven to 205°C (400°F). Arrange the duck legs skin-side up on a wired rack over a baking sheet lined with foil. Roast for about 35 minutes or until just cooked through. During the last 10 minutes in the oven, you can move them to the upper rack and switch to broil, or increase the heat to 220°C (425°F) to help the skin turn golden brown.
  • While roasting the duck legs, transfer the reserved marinade to a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and once it starts to simmer, add the water. Adjust the heat and let the sauce simmer with the lid on for about 10 minutes until the flavors are combined and the sauce has reduced slightly. Taste and adjust to your liking with more soy sauce or sugar if desired.
  • Transfer the roasted duck legs to serving plates and pour the sauce over them. Serve right away.

Notes

If you are short on time, it is okay to skip the first two steps.
Use more or less black peppercorns depending on how hot you want the sauce to be.
You can serve these roasted duck legs with black pepper sauce and either steamed rice or roasted/boiled potatoes on the side.

Nutrition

Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 197mg | Sodium: 1396mg | Potassium: 150mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 14IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Asian Fusion
Keyword: roasted duck legs
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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is a great sauce: loaded with heat and umami. It’s perfect with duck, and would also do well with other meats, such as chicken or pork.

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