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Duck with Orange Sauce
(Canard a l’Orange)

Duck with Orange Sauce

The tender juicy duck meat combined with the crispy crunch of the skin and the spiced sweetness of the sauce make this a dish to remember. Truly, one of the all time classic French recipes, oh and it also just happens to be one of my personal favourites too.

Current Rating: 4.25
From: 4 votes
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1 duck (approximately 2 kg)
6 Oranges
1 Rosemary sprig
A couple of fresh bay leaves
75g butter
Olive oil
100ml Orange liqueur
50g caster sugar
75ml white wine vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anis
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste


Prepare the Oranges

Prepare the Oranges, Cut the first into six wedges.

Use a potato peeler to remove the zest from the second orange before slicing it into thin strips. Then peel the orange and cut it into segments. See our How to Segment an Orange page for details on how to do this.

Juice the remaining Oranges and set it aside for use later.

Preheat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius, fan forced.

When roasting a fatty bird such as duck, you want to remove as much fat as possible beforehand. To do this, place the bird breast side up on a board and cut away the excess fat from the tail.

Next, pierce the bird all over with a metal skewer. This is to allow the layer of fat found under the skin to melt and drain away as the bird roasts.

Prepare the Duck

Season inside the tail with salt and pepper before inserting the bay leaves, rosemary and one orange cut into wedges. After this, season the duck skin with salt.

Heat 25g of the butter and a teaspoon of oil in a roasting tin on top of the stove. Brown the bird on each side so as to give it a bit of colour before the roasting begins.

Brown the bird
Baste the Duck while cooking

Place the bird on a rack in the roasting tin. Roast the duck in the pre-heated oven.  The cooking time is determined by the size of the bird. Count 18-20 minutes of cooking per 450g of weight.

Baste the duck every 15-20 minutes while it’s cooking. You do this by spooning the juices that collect in the bottom of the roasting tin back over the duck. This process helps to keep the meat moist as well as helps to improve the ducks flavour and colour.

Once cooked, remove the duck to a chopping board and allow it to rest. Pour the liquid fat that has accumulated in the tin during cooking into a jar and set it aside.

While the duck is resting, we now move onto the Orange Sauce. Put the roasting tin back on the stove.  Pour in half the Orange liqueur, set light to it to flame off the alcohol and deglaze the pan. Add the star anis, cinnamon, sugar and pour in the vinegar. Simmer to reduce the liquid until syrupy.

Dedglaze the pan
Add the orange juice and reduce

Pour the orange juice into the roasting tin and simmer to reduce.

Add the segments of orange, orange zest and remaining Orange liqueur to the sauce.

Simmer and gently stir for a couple of minutes

add the remaining butter

Cut the remaining butter into small pieces. Piece by piece add the butter and stir to melt it into the sauce.

Once all of the butter has been added, remove the sauce from the heat.

The final step is to present the dish. If the Duck is to be presented whole, first turn the bird in the orange sauce to coat it before transferring it to a warm serving dish and pouring the remaining sauce over the top.

Otherwise, first carve the bird before laying it out on a warm serving plate and pouring the sauce over it.

Present the Duck

Notes:One good serving suggestion is to serve the meat on top of a bed of Mashed Potatoes. For details, see our How to make Mashed Potatoes page.

Do not discard the duck fat set aside from the roasting process, instead I highly recommend that you use it to make roast potatoes.

Rough Timings
Preperation time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Recipe By , Flavoursome Delights

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Current Comments

1 comments so far (post your own)

I really liked this recipe because of the details and the directions for every step that made it seem possible. I have never before cooked a duck, but I am cooking one on Christmas Eve for our family. Wish me luck!

Posted by on Tuesday, 18.12.12 @ 10:46am

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