Chefs' Recipes

France-Soir’s duck à l’orange

Try this French restaurant classic at home when entertaining as an elegant main.
Duck à l’orange

Duck à l’orange

Sharyn Cairns
4 - 6
6H 30M
7H 5M

“I can’t remember anyone eating duck at home. We would have pintade – guinea fowl – but it was a much bigger bird and cheaper,” says Prunetti. “Chicken is traditionally the bird for home eating. Duck à la orange is a great restaurant classic – showy and one of the first examples of the mix of sweet and sour in the French menu. Serving citrus fruit with meat was rarely seen before. This dish was on the original France-Soir menu and remains due to demand.” Start this recipe a day ahead to salt the duck.


Duck stock
Orange sauce



1.Combine duck Marylands and salt in a non-reactive bowl (see cook’s notes), mix well, cover and refrigerate overnight to cure.
2.For duck stock, preheat oven to 220C and roast carcass in a flameproof roasting pan until golden brown (25-30 minutes). Remove bones and drain off excess fat, then place the pan over medium heat and deglaze the pan with 2 tbsp white wine, gently scraping up the caramelised bits. Transfer bones to a stockpot, and vegetables, bay leaves, remaining wine, pan liquid and 3 litres cold water, or enough to just cover. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then simmer over medium-low heat, skimming surface occasionally, until well flavoured (3-3½ hours). Strain (discard bones, vegetables and bay leaves) and reduce over high heat to 1 litre (40-50 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve, refrigerate and remove the last of the fat as it cools.
3.Rinse salted duck under cold running water, pat dry with paper towels and carefully place in a saucepan that fits Marylands in an even layer, then cover with melted duck fat. Confit duck over very low heat (no higher than 95C) until almost falling off the bone (1½-2½ hours; an old tradition in France still in use in the south-west is to insert a single straw from a clean broomstick into the duck – if it passes cleanly through the duck without breaking, the duck is ready).
4.For orange sauce, cook honey in a small saucepan over medium heat until caramelised and a deep golden colour (2-3 minutes). Carefully add vinegar and orange rind (be careful, hot caramel will spit), bring to the boil, then reduce by half (2-3 minutes). Add orange juice and reduce by half again (2-3 minutes), then add 500ml duck stock (remaining stock will keep refrigerated for 3 days or freeze for a later use), bring to the boil and reduce until sauce is sticky and coats a spoon (25-30 minutes). Season to taste and carefully add a few drops of Grand Marnier.
5.Preheat oven to 200C. Score duck breasts in a diamond pattern and season to taste. Place skin-side down in a cold frying pan over medium heat with a drizzle of grapeseed oil and cook until fat renders, draining fat occasionally and turning once, until cooked medium rare and internal temperature reads 52C on a meat thermometer (7-10 minutes on skin side, 5-8 minutes on other). Remove from heat and rest skin-side up for 5 minutes.
6.Meanwhile, roast Marylands on a tray lined with baking paper until skin is crisp (15-20 minutes).
7.Thickly slice duck breasts diagonally and arrange on warm plates with duck Marylands, top with hot sauce and orange segments, sprinkle with parsley and serve with frisée.

Non-reactive bowls are made from glass, ceramic or plastic. Use them in preference to metal bowls when marinating to prevent the acid in marinades reacting with metal and imparting a metallic taste

Drink Suggestion: 2013 Domaine Arlaud Morey-St-Denis 1er Cru Les Ruchots, Burgundy Drink suggestion by Pierre Stock


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