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Catholic Recipe: Roast Duck


  • 1 5-pound duck
  • salt, pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • 4 slices bacon, divided
  • 1/3 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 tablespoon brandy


Serves: 4

Prep Time: 2 1/2 hours

Difficulty: • • •

Cost: $$$$

For Ages:15+

Origin: Italy


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Also Called: Anitra Arrosto

St. Michael, the "prince of the heavenly hosts," is the patron of the whole Church, of the holy souls in purgatory, of Germany, of Christian soldiers, and of painters and sculptors. Pope Pius XII also made him patron of all persons employed in radio and television work.

St. Michael's Day (Michaelmas) has been a great day of popular celebrations from the end of the first millennium of the Christian era. This is because his feast comes at the end of the third quarter of the year, which was a time of tribal meetings among the Germanic nations. They also celebrated this day as one of their thanksgiving festivals for the harvest.

Since it was the season of duck hunting, people ate duck and drank from teh first wine of the new grape harvest. This wine was usually blessed by the priest and bore the name Michaelsminne (St. Michael's love).


Rub duck inside and out with salt, pepper, sage. Place 1 finely diced slice of bacon in cavity of duck. Season skin of duck; cover with 3 slices bacon. Roast 2 hours at 325┬░. Baste with wine and brandy combined with pan juices.

Recipe Source: Catholic Cookbook, The by William I. Kaufman, The Citadel Press, New York, 1965