Chef's Recipes

Slow-roast duck with quinoa, saffron and olives

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for slow-roast duck with quinoa, saffron and olives by Mike McEnearney.

By Mike McEnearney
  • 35 mins preparation
  • 3 hrs 15 mins cooking plus infusing, cooling, resting
  • Serves 6 - 8
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Slow-roast duck with quinoa, saffron and olives
"Pot-roast duck happens to be one of my all-time favourites," says McEnearney. "Duck is high in linoleic acid, an antioxidant, quinoa is high in protein, saffron is antioxidant and olives are anti-inflammatory."


  • 2 pinches of saffron threads
  • 1 Spanish onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 90 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 300 gm (1½ cups) red quinoa
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp each ground cinnamon and sumac
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 duck (about 1.9kg)
  • 200 gm mixed olives (such as wild and green)
  • To serve: rocket


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 100C. Place saffron in a bowl with 125ml warm water and a pinch of sea salt, and set aside to infuse (30 minutes).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, sauté onion and garlic in 60ml olive oil with a pinch of salt over medium heat until tender and translucent (5-6 minutes). Add quinoa and spices and stir to toast (1 minute). Remove from heat, add lemon juice, season to taste and set aside to cool, then stuff quinoa mixture into duck cavity and stand for 30 minutes.
  • 3
    Heat remaining oil in a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat and cook duck breast-side down until well-browned (4-5 minutes). Pour saffron and its liquid over duck, add olives to pan, cover with a lid and braise in oven until duck is very tender (2¾-3 hours). Rest for 15 minutes, then drain pan juices into a sauce boat to use as gravy and reserve olives separately. Carve duck and serve with olives and stuffing spooned out. When everyone is nearly finished, serve rocket to help mop up the juices and cleanse the palate.