Life is full of big questions – what’s the meaning of existence? What does it mean to be human? What to serve with duck breast?
Jokes aside, it’s no laughing matter when you’ve a beautifully roasted bird but sad-looking sides.
Your delicious duck deserves appetizing accompaniments that hit the spot, without taking attention away from the main dish.
Try a light and tangy spinach salad, fluffy whipped sweet potatoes, or herby parsnip fries to make it a supper to remember.
These 17 sides aren’t just for duck, either. They’ll work well with any poultry, so if there’s a roasted bird in your future, give them a try!
1. Duck Fat Fries
Ask any professional chef, and they’ll tell you the secret to truly amazing fries is duck fat.
I started using this rich cooking oil a few years ago, and now, I won’t eat potatoes any other way.
(Ok, I will. But I never enjoy them as much.)
Why? Because, like all animal fats, duck fat has a high smoke point, meaning it’s stable at high temperatures.
Drop shoestring fries into bubbling duck fat, and you’ll be rewarded with a heaping plate of crispy, irresistible spuds.
Golden brown, crunchy, and unbelievably addictive, duck fat fries are the only fries you’ll ever want to make and eat.
2. Balsamic Mushroom Spinach Salad
Light and leafy, this healthy salad is the perfect accompaniment to rich duck.
Packed full of folate-rich spinach and flavored with a tangy balsamic dressing, this is a wonderfully nutritious side with plenty of taste.
3. Potato Wedges
Want golden brown, crunchy, potatoes but don’t feel like fries? Enter wedges – a healthier, easier way to get crispy spuds on the table.
These scrumptious oven-baked wedges are soft and fluffy on the inside, with a herby seasoned crust.
Simply toss sliced potatoes in garlic, parmesan, and olive oil.
Spread onto a baking sheet and then forget about them until they’re perfectly fork-tender.
4. Smashed Potatoes
Smashed potatoes aren’t just a satisfying side, they’re also a form of therapy.
If you’ve had a hard day, work out your frustrations smashing up spuds.
It’s impossible not to enjoy this fun recipe, which involves squishing cooked potatoes with a fork until they split open.
Bake your smashed potatoes until all of those ridges and pockets of split skin turn beautifully brown and crispy.
The more enthusiastically you squish, the crisper your spuds.
5. Sweet Potato Fries
If you’re cutting carbs, or looking for a bit more nutrition with your spuds, sweet potatoes are the way to go.
With this easy recipe, you get all the taste and crunch of regular fries, without the guilt or the grease.
Slice your sweet potato into thin strips, toss in a seasoning mix, and bake until perfectly crispy.
6. Roasted Pepper Salad with Feta, Pine Nuts & Basil
Duck is delicious, but it’s not the prettiest dish.
Serve it up with this colorful side salad and you’ve an eye-catching plate that’s all the colors of the rainbow.
And it tastes just as good as it looks! Roasted bell peppers are accompanied by salty olives, toasted pine nuts, tangy feta, and fresh basil.
It’s a mouth-watering combination of flavors and textures that’ll make your duck sing (not literally obviously, that would be weird).
7. Mashed Potatoes
You probably know how to make mashed potatoes. But have you made Irish mashed potatoes?
Also known as colcannon, this is how potatoes were meant to be – fluffy, buttery, creamy, and filling.
Mix shredded greens into your mash for an extra healthy hit. Or get really adventurous and throw in some bacon.
8. Blood Orange, Fennel and Avocado Salad with Lemon Citronette
This unique salad will make you rethink your relationship with leafy greens.
Forget limp lettuce. Get your greens together with tangy goat cheese, creamy avocado, sweet blood oranges, and sliced almonds to rustle up this decadent side.
Fennel adds a subtle sweet note, while a zesty lemon dressing wraps the whole thing up.
If you thought salads were boring, think again.
9. Glazed Carrots
Sweet and earthy, baby carrots are a classic side.
Here, they’re coated in a brown sugar and butter glaze then roasted until tender.
They’re a little bit caramelized, a little bit browned, and a whole lot of tasty.
10. Dauphinoise Potatoes
Also known as potato au gratin, dauphinoise potatoes are a classic French side.
Potatoes are simmered in cream, butter and cheese to create a luxurious casserole-style side.
You can also make this one ahead of time – making it a good option if you’re doing a duck and need to save time in the prep stage.
11. Whipped Sweet Potato
Whipping sweet potato turns it into a light, airy mash that’s arguably the best way to enjoy the healthy root veg.
With just seven ingredients, you don’t have to stress over this side.
Just cook, mash, and season to enjoy this velvety smooth comfort food.
12. Roasted Vegetables
Nobody wants the hassle of fancy sides when you’re planning a special dinner.
A good rule of thumb is to concentrate on the main, and choose easy, but satisfying sides.
This roasted vegetables recipe is the side you need for fuss-free dinner prep.
Take whatever veggies you have in the fridge, toss in a seasoned balsamic dressing, and bake until mouth-watering.
13. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Some people dislike Brussels sprouts, and that is a tragic thing. Convert the haters with this tasty recipe for caramelized Brussels.
These are so delightfully sweet and nutty, you may even forget you’re eating sprouts.
14. Orange Sauce
Duck with orange sauce is one of the most popular imports from Chinese cuisine, transcending its roots to become a worldwide favorite.
You don’t need to order takeout to enjoy it either.
This DIY recipe for a thick, zesty orange sauce delivers all that tangy taste in just a few easy steps.
15. Roasted Beet Salad
Creamy feta and juicy pear team up with sweet beets in this hearty side salad.
It’s a colorful side, perfect for impressing dinner party guests.
16. Mashed Pumpkin
Planning a fall feast? Incorporate the best of the season’s flavors with this pumpkin recipe.
Creamy and silky smooth, this is especially good if you’re serving duck with sauce.
The thick mash can then soak up all that tasty juice, substantially upping the yum factor.
17. Rosemary Parsnip Fries
You can turn pretty much any root veg into fries.
Here, sweet parsnips are coated in rosemary, garlic, and olive oil before being baked until crispy.
If you’ve no parsnips in the house, and no time to shop, just sub in carrots.
This gluten-free and vegetarian recipe allows for a bit of creative mix n’ match.
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