Crispy Roast Duck with Wild Blueberry Sauce and Blueberry Hazelnut Quinoa



By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

When I was in my oatmeal phase, I ate frozen blueberries with my breakfast every morning. Each steaming hot bite of oatmeal was filled with icy-cold bursts of sweet blueberry taste. I looked forward to breakfast every day.


Even though I’ve moved on to other delicious breakfasts, I still toss on a handful of wild blueberries when I can. That’s why when I read about the most recent Recipe Redux contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America (WBANA), I gave a mini-fist pump. I already had two huge bags of frozen wild blueberries in my freezer. So began my wild blueberry explorations.

But why frozen wild blueberries? They have more flavor than regular cultivated blueberries, as well as twice the antioxidants, such as anthocyanin. Anthocyanin gives wild blueberries their gorgeous deep blue pigment. If you like regular blueberries, you’ll love wild blueberries. You can cook with them, make smoothies with them (which I do often) and put them on salads and cereals. Their their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties stem from the harsh climate and thin glacial soils of Maine, Eastern Canada and Quebec. These tiny jewels give you more blueberries per pound than regular blueberries and have less water, so they won’t make your dishes and baked goods all soggy (gross, right?).

Not only do wild blueberries have many potential health benefits, they are frozen at harvest, which locks in their flavor and antioxidant power. I often recommend frozen fruit to my Head Start families because of their cost and health benefits.


Sweet and tart wild blueberry sauce pairs perfectly with crispy roast duck in this dish, while wild blueberries and toasted hazelnuts add sweetness and crunch to protein-rich quinoa. Duck tend to be a little higher in calories and fat than other protein sources (e.g. chicken breast, lean pork, tempeh), so feel free to substitute another protein source. Removing the skin will also reduce this dish’s fat and calorie content.


Bonus! This complete meal follows Update MyPlate to a sweet T:

blueberry myplate

After all my experimentation, I’m down to a single bag of frozen wild blueberries. But that’s okay. I’ll seek out more before too long. In the meantime, enjoy!

Crispy Roast Duck with Wild Blueberry Sauce, Sauteed Swiss Chard and Blueberry Hazelnut Quinoa

  Prep Time: 10 minutes

  Cook Time: 3 hours

  Keywords: roast saute entree

Ingredients (4 servings)

    Crispy Roast Duck

    • 1 duck, giblets removed
    • Salt and pepper

    Wild Blueberry Sauce

    • 1 cup wild blueberries, frozen
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed into 1 tablespoon water

    Blueberry Hazelnut Quinoa

    • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed well
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup wild blueberries, frozen (allow to defrost and dry with paper towels)
    • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted

    Sauteed Swiss Chard

    • 1 bundle Swiss chard, washed and chopped
    • 1/2 tablespoon canola oil


    Duck: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the outside of the duck. Use kitchen shears (easier) or a small, sharp knife to make dozens of slits in the duck skin, avoiding the meat. Place duck breast-side up on a cooling rack sitting inside a baking sheet or roasting pan. Every hour for the next two hours, take pan out of the oven and flip the duck over. After two hours, increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Cook for 1 hour longer, until the skin is crisp and brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

    Blueberry sauce: While duck roasts, combine ingredients for blueberry sauce in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until sauce is slightly thickened but blueberries retain their shape, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

    Quinoa: Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Set aside for five minutes, then fluff with a fork. Add salt. Just before serving, stir in blueberries and top with toasted hazelnuts.

    Swiss chard: Heat canola oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Saute Swiss chard for five minutes, or until softened.

    Carve duck, slice and arrange on plate with quinoa and Swiss chard. Drizzle blueberry sauce over duck and serve immediately.

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    1. I love frozen wild blueberries and almost always have some in the freezer. I’ve never made duck! This sounds delicious!

    2. WOW – this is like something off a menu at an amazing restaurant – so many great flavors (and colors) going on on this plate 🙂

    3. Go wild Maine blueberries! If you come visit us in the summer I know a couple of great spots to pick wild Maine blueberries. They’re yummy… 🙂 I can’t tell whether I like them better than cultivated blueberries because I like them better or because of state pride. Hard to say, but they’re pretty great for sure.

      1. Sounds like a great idea! 🙂

    4. Ooo that sauce is the perfect sweet-savory note to add to this dish!! What a great dish of food!

    5. Wow this dish looks amazing! I love anything with blueberries in it but can’t eat them on their own. I don’t even know how to explain this? I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a win 🙂

      1. Thanks, Christina! 🙂

    6. Whoa mama! This looks delicious – and I didn’t even know I could buy wild blueberries. I thought I would have to traipse through the forest myself 🙂 Good luck!!!!

      1. Thanks Whitney! 🙂

    7. I’ve never made duck at home. Do you start with a frozen bird and then defrost? I don’t think I’d be able to get my hands on a fresh duck. <-I know this sounds funny

      1. I don’t think we’ve ever worked with fresh ducks – we buy them frozen in bulk from a restaurant supply store <-- I know this sounds funny 😉 We let the bird defrost in the refrigerator for about three days and it works perfectly.

    8. Looks super gourmet and super delicious! I always put some frozen fruit in my oatmeal haha, and blueberries are one of my all-time favorite foods 🙂 I’ve never tried them in a sauce, looks very appetizing!

    9. Gosh, this makes me want to try wild blueberries right. now. I love how you’ve made this gourmet meal look so accessible. I’d be content with a giant bowl of just one of these items (I vote duck!) 🙂 Good luck with the contest, friend!

    10. I would dig the wild blueberry sauce, I’ve never used sweet sauces in my savory dishes before, I imagine it would be tasty with the blueberry-hazelnut quinoa and these lovely sautéed swiss chards (love the rainbow ones especially). What a brilliant way to use these blueberries!

    11. i love everything about this!! it’s such a lovely, healthy, delicious-looking plate. i think i’d like to eat dinner at your house.

    12. Such a creative recipe, and I imagine quite delicious too! I love all the flavors you’ve got going on here. Now I just need to convince myself that I can roast a duck so I can make this :/)

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