Duck Ballottine

Want to kick start your new year resolution of becoming a better cook?

There is no better way than with this stuffed and roasted honey lavender duck.

We make a sausage of duck prosciutto, dried cherries, pistachios, and leg meat. The duck is de-boned and rolled with swiss chard and prosciutto. It’s then roasted and glazed with honey and lavender.

This duck will cook more evenly than a typical bird and be more moist, due to proper technique and preparation.

Duck Ballottine

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 3 hours


  • 1 ea. 5-6 lb. duck
  • 2 ea. duck breast prosciutto
  • 2 ea. whole duck legs
  • 1/2 lb. prosciutto di parma
  • 1 bunch swiss chard "blanched and shocked"
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup raw pistachios
  • 1/4 cup lavender honey
  • 1 tbs. dried lavender
  • 1 tbs. transglutaminase


  1. Step 1: Make the duck sausage
  2. Step 2: Stuff and roll the duck
  3. Step 3: Roast and lacquer the duck

Duck Ballottine Step 1: | Make The Duck Sausage

To start, grind the duck prosciutto into a bowl.

Next, remove the skin and bones of the duck leg, and grind the meat into the bowl with the prosciutto.

Mix until fully incorporated,  add the pistachios, dried cherries, and season with salt and pepper.

Next, flatten plastic wrap on a large surface and spread the sausage on to the plastic.

Roll the sausage into a cylinder.

Duck Sausage Recipe:

2 ea. duck prosciutto

2 ea. duck leg meat

1/2 cup raw pistachios

1/2 cup dried bing cherries

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. diamond kosher salt

Duck Ballottine Step 2: | De-Bone And Roll The Duck

The trick to making this duck cook evenly is properly butchering and rolling the bird.

These days there is no need to stitch the duck with a needle and butcher twine. We use an enzyme called Transglutaminase or “Meat Glue”. This glue bonds meat proteins together, and saves us  time when rolling the bird.

To start, make a long incision along the whole back of the duck as it’s laid breast down on the cutting board.

Next, separate the neck from the skin using your fingers.

Run a sharp knife between the wing and leg joints  without piercing the skin.

Remove the carcass from the breast and save for stock.

Next, butterfly the breasts so they cover the majority of skin.

Using the back of a knife, break the bone near the bottom of the foot joint without damaging the skin.

De-bone the  wings and legs.

Now the bones are removed, layer the duck with prosciutto di parma.

Next, layer the blanched swiss chard.

Remove the duck sausage from the plastic, and place in the center of the duck.

Sift the meat glue over the right side of the duck and fold the left side over the sausage. Then fold over the right side with the glue having direct contact with the skin.

Flip the duck over and repeat with the breast under skin.

Lay the bird on plastic wrap and roll the same as the duck sausage to form a symmetrical cylinder.

Refridgerate overnight.

Duck Ballottine Step 3: | Roast And lacquer The Duck

Once the duck is butchered and rolled the hard part is over.

Preheat a convection oven to 400°F.

Remove the duck from the plastic wrap and tie the legs together and around under the wings with butcher twine.

Place on a sheet pan with a wire rack and season with salt.

Roast for 20 minutes at 400°F. Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 375°F.

Prick the skin of the duck using a needle to release the fat.

Place back in the oven for 30 minutes or until the duck reaches an internal temperature of 145° F.

Remove from the oven and brush with a liberal amount of honey.

Lightly dust the lacquered duck with dried lavender and roast for another 5 minutes.

Allow the duck to rest for  10- 15 minutes, then slice and serve.


Buying good quality ingredients and taking time to prepare the duck correctly is really the only hard work involved with this recipe, and should be done the day before your event to make life easy.

A few simple things to remember when taking on this duck.

  1. Always butcher your bird using a very sharp knife. Not only is it easier and more efficient, it is much safer due to the fact that you use less pressure than with a dull knife, and it makes cleaner cuts through the meat.
  2. Cook a small amount of sausage before you stuff the duck to check for correct seasoning as the saltiness in the prosciutto can vary. These recipes are guidelines and should be treated as such. Taste,taste,taste!
  3. Let the duck rest after roasting it. You spent all this time and energy to keep this duck moist, so let the bird come back down in temperature so you don’t leave all that juiciness running out on your cutting board.

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