Duck carnitas with roasted cherries

Carnitas means little meats in the Mexican cuisine. It is pork cooked low and slow until it is super, falling apart tender. I didn’t have any pork at home so I decided to use two duck legs I had in the fridge. Two duck legs is not enough for dinner for M and myself, he can easily eat three on his own so I was thinking what I could make that would be substantial enough and I thought why not making carnitas, or “duck cooked like pork carnitas”. The more I thought about it the more I liked the idea.


I started by doing a dry spice rub.


Duck carnitas spice rub

preparation time 5 minutes 

cooking time 0 minutes

serves 4 


  • 1 heaped tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika powder
  • 1/4 cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 chipotle chile, chopped

Place the sea salt and the chipotle chile in a blender and blend until quite smooth and mix with the other spices.




Rub the duck legs with the spice mix. Leave to infuse for a few hours.




Duck carnitas 

preparation time 10 minutes 

cooking time 2 hours + 15 minutes 

oven 160C 0r 320F

serves 2


  • 2 duck legs, infused with the spice mix
  • 500 ml or 2 1/2 cup coca cola
  • 4 dl chicken stock
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp oil

For the reduction

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • the remaining minced garlic
  • salt to taste

Chop the carrot, onion, and celery stalks fine. Take the spice infused duck legs and pan fry them brown all around in hot oil.




Add the remaining spice mix to the pan, the vegetables, the chicken stock, half of the minced garlic and add the coca cola. Bring everything to a boil and place it in the oven for one and a half hour. Roast the cherries in the oven with the duck for an hour.

The duck is cooked when the meat falls off the bones. Remove it from the oven and place it on the cooker with the soy sauce, the rice wine and the remaining minced garlic and bring to a boil, taste with salt. Reduce the juice until it is slightly thick and sticky.


M picked a courgette from the allotment. I brought the bulgur wheat to a boil in chicken stock and let it boil for a few minutes. I cut up the courgette and added it to the bulgur wheat when I turned the heat off and let it stand with the lid on for ten minutes. I cut up half a mango and one tomato to mix in along with parsley and dill from the veg patch.







I served it with mango and veg studded bulgur wheat and roasted cherries and coleslaw.








I am bringing a plate full of my “duck carnitas” to Angies Fiesta Friday. There is no better foodie party around so if you have cooked come and join us and if you want to just get inspired have a browse around here. This week Angie’s two co hosts are Caroline, Caroline’s Cooking who has brought us a lovely looking stuffed pork tenderloin, and the lovely Loretta, Safari of the Mind, who in every blog takes us on a delicious foodie journey.








17 Responses to “Duck carnitas with roasted cherries”
  1. Angie says:

    I have never cooked duck before or roasted cherries. I think I need to start thinking the way you do, Petra! This meal sounds wonderful!!! 😃

    • petra08 says:

      hi Angie
      You are so sweet! I usually cook the duck low and slow until it is nice and crispy, this was anew way for me. I guess it was only the spice mix that had anything to do with actual carnitas. Duck and cherries are a classical combo and I love roasted cherries 🙂 HappyFF! xx

  2. Loretta says:

    Aww thanks for your sweet introduction Petra, so very kind of you :). Welcome to Fiesta Friday, I’m loving the duck and cherries. I too, like Angie have always shied away from cooking duck (for whatever reasons), but I do hear it is a dish to enjoy. I just saw sour cherries in an ethnic market that I frequent regularly, I should have picked them up. Love the flavor combinations going on in this dish, thanks for bringing it to the Fiesta. Enjoy your “heat wave” I have my family in England, and they are all telling me about this week’s upcoming temps. ~wow~

    • petra08 says:

      Hi Loretta
      I love your blog 🙂
      I don’t cook duck very often I have to admit but I like it every now and then. I had never eaten duck until I moved to the UK, for some reason (and not due to any lack of ducks) it wasn’t that common to eat in Sweden when I grew up.The legs are great for slow cooking and M was very happy with his dinner!
      I love cherries, sweet and sour and they are perfect with meat!
      This coming week is supposed to be proper hot! I can’t wait! It has been ok here but no heat like last summer yet except for the odd day! I got so excited about the coming “heatwave” I have stocked up on rose wine! 🙂

  3. trucvert says:

    The cherries are wonderful! Love the idea of substituting with duck 🙂

  4. I do love duck and this sounds a tasty way to cook it. The roast cherries sound great as well, a new one to me but definitely one to try! Thanks for sharing with us (and for being so kind about my pork recipe 🙂 )

    • petra08 says:

      Hi Caroline
      I am glad you like it. I could eat a bowl of just the roasted cherries I have to admit but they were great with the duck. Thanks for co hosting and your pork looks utterly delicious 🙂 Happy FF!

  5. Paul Palop says:

    Are you kidding me!? This looks so amazing and original

  6. J Seaton says:

    I absolutely LOVE duck, and this sounds like a great way to cook it. Very impressive, Petra.

  7. Oooh Petra! I love this! I haven’t had a delicious duck meal in AGES! I love the idea that you use duck in carnitas too (I prefer duck to pork!) 🙂 and those cherries looks delicious too!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Dini
      Thank you, am so glad you like it! Duck was a great substitute to pork and it added a nice depth of flavour. And those cherries were so delicious I have to admit! 🙂 x

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  1. […] is a Mexican style dish with lots of differences…  From Petra at Food Eat Love, we have duck carnitas with roasted cherries ~ told you it was […]

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