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A Classic Czech Feast:

Roasted Duck with Red Cabbage & Potato Dumplings Recipe


a beautifully served plate of traditional Czech roasted duck with red cabbage and potato dumplings


When you think of Czech cuisine, what comes to mind? If it’s not the mouth-watering combination of roasted duck with red cabbage and potato dumplings, you’re missing out on a quintessential Czech dining experience. This dish isn’t just food; it’s a journey through Czech history and culture, served on a plate. Let’s dive into how you can bring a taste of Prague to your kitchen with this beloved traditional recipe.


Where to Taste the Best Roasted Duck in Prague?

While roaming the cobblestone streets of Prague, you’ll encounter countless restaurants serving this national dish. For an authentic taste, we often find ourselves at U Bansethů – a hidden gem where the duck is as tender as the history of the city itself. Better yet, why not discover the magic of Czech cooking by making it at home? Follow this family recipe, and bring the Czech Republic into your kitchen.


a close up of a traditional Czech roasted duck with cabbage and dumplings


What You’ll Need

For the Duck:

  • 2 duck breasts and 2 duck legs, ready to absorb flavors
  • A dash of sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Just under a cup of water (about 0.85 cups)
  • 1 apple, for a hint of sweetness
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds, for that distinct Czech flavor
  • 2 onions, diced, laying the foundation of the dish

For the Red Cabbage:

  • 2.8 ounces of rendered duck fat, for richness
  • 3 red onions, thinly sliced, adding depth
  • 5 bay leaves, for their aromatic presence
  • 2 tablespoons cane sugar, for a touch of sweetness
  • 2.2 pounds pickled red cabbage, the star of the side dish
  • 2.1 cups water, to meld the flavors
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar, for a bright acidity

For the Potato Dumplings:

  • 2 pounds of potatoes, the base of our dumplings
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, for structure
  • 1 and ¼ cup farina, to bind everything together
  • 1 egg, to enrich the dough
  • ½ tablespoon potato or corn starch, for the perfect texture
  • A pinch of salt, to taste, plus more for the boiling water


a close up of a roasted duck leg and potato dumplings in the background


The Art of Roasting Duck:

  1. Wash the duck thoroughly and dab it dry. Gently make incisions in the duck breast skin, ensuring the cuts are superficial and don’t reach the flesh.
  2. Arrange the duck in a roasting pan or on a tray, and liberally season with salt, pepper, and caraway seeds. Scatter the diced onions around it, then evenly pour the water over.
  3. Incorporate the apple by slicing it into wedges after coring, and place them around the duck.
  4. Begin roasting in an oven set to 320°F for about 3.5 hours, keeping the duck covered. In the final half-hour, remove the cover, lavish the duck with a coating of dark beer, and let it roast uncovered until it achieves a rich golden hue.


Crafting the Perfect Red Cabbage:

  1. Heat the rendered duck fat in a sizable pot. Introduce the red onions, sliced finely, along with a pinch of salt, a dash of pepper, and the bay leaves, and sauté them until they turn a lovely shade of golden.
  2. Distribute the cane sugar over the sautéed onions and let it melt into them, stirring until fully dissolved.
  3. Mix in the pickled red cabbage, add water, and a splash of vinegar. Cover and let it simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage softens, which should take around 45 minutes.


a well done plate of traditional Czech red cabbage


Making Potato Dumplings:

  1. Boil potatoes with skins on the day before, then cool (overnight recommended).
  2. Heat lightly salted water in a pot. Peel and grate the cooled potatoes. In a bowl, mix with flour, farina, potato starch, salt, and an egg to form dough.
  3. Split the dough in half, rolling each into a cylinder about 2-3 inches thick.
  4. Boil the cylinders in simmering water for 20-23 minutes. If they stick, gently loosen them.
  5. Once done, remove with a slotted spoon and cut into slices 1 inch thick.


Bringing It All Together: Serve your beautifully roasted duck alongside the tangy red cabbage and fluffy potato dumplings. Drizzle with the rich pan juices for a truly Czech dining experience.

This dish is more than a meal; it’s a celebration of Czech heritage and the comfort of home cooking. Whether you’re reminiscing about a trip to Prague or exploring Czech cuisine for the first time, this recipe is sure to become a favorite. Enjoy the process, and dobrou chuť (bon appétit)!


a person eating a well-prepared dish of traditional Czech roasted duck with red cabbage and potato dumplings


If this journey through Czech cuisine has inspired you, why not explore further? Delve into the world of svíčková or guláš, another crown jewels of Czech culinary traditions.


February 16, 2024