Duck Carnitas with Berry Salsa

    Carnitas made with duck legs instead of the usual pork, served with a blackberry salsa.


    • 4 Duck Legs
    • 2 Sour Oranges
    • 2 Limes
    • 1/2 Bunch Cilantro
    • 1 Small Onion
    • 2 Cloves Garlic
    • 2 Tablespoons Cumin
    • 1 Tablespoon Coriander
    • 1 Pinch Cinnamon
    • 1 Pinch Allspice
    • 1 Teaspoon Chile Flake
    • 4 Ounces Blackberries (chopped)
    • 4 Large Strawberries (chopped)
    • 1 Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (diced)
    • 3 Scallions (chopped)
    • 1 Clove Garlic (minced)
    • 1 Lime (juiced)


    1. Marinate duck in a liquid mixture of sour oranges, limes, cilantro, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, Cinnamon, allspice, and chile flake. Let it sit overnight.
    2. Place duck and marinade in a dutch oven and bake at 275 for about 3 hours until tender.
    3. Pick duck meat from the bones and skin. Shred and place in a bowl with some of the cooking liquid(be sure to skim fat!) Reserve the skin and cook in a frying pan with a little oil to crisp up. Add it back to the meat mixture.
    4. Serve with corn tortillas and a salsa of blackberry, strawberry, chipotle, green onion, garlic, and lime. I also served it with quack, cojita, and some lightly pickled carrot, radish, and jalapeno.


    Duck Carnitas has been on my list for about 6 months. I even was ready to make it one day but couldn’t find any duck and had to put it off. Carnitas is traditionally “confit” (meaning slowly poached in it’s own fat) and duck legs are the most common confit thing around, so this seemed like a perfect fit. Also orange is a major player in mojo, and duck is always paired with orange.  That being said, I dont normally confit my carnitas, I like to marinade it in the standard mojo, then slow roast it until it’s falling apart. I did the same technique on the duck and it came out great!

    The marinade. Sour oranges, onion, garlic, cilantro, and spices.

    Which spices you ask? These.

    Pour some hot vinegar on here to make a quick pickle.

    The marinating duck.

    I cut the center out of these blackberries, seperating most of the individual pearls.(drupelets)

    Afterwards, I realized this needed more fruit, so we added strawberries.

    The duck is done.

    Quick fry on the skin to make it crispy.

    The duck is ready to go.

    Everything set up.

    These were really good!

    If I were to make them again, I would make sure the marinade was a little stronger, and let the duck sit overnight in the marinade. The duck was good but it could have used some more spice.