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Duck a l'Orange

A gift of a large bag full of sweet oranges prompted me to revisit this old classic. Duck a l’Orange has fallen off most restaurant menus these days, but there is something about the combination of crisp skinned duck coated in a thick sauce laced with orange juice and zest -- or, in my case, homemade orange powder -- that definitely makes me think this dish is worth a come back. Give it a try and let me know if you agree.

Top view of a bowl of Duck a l'Orange by Simon Majumdar. Text, "Go Everywhere, Eat Everything"

Duck a l'Orange Recipe

(Serves About 4)


  • 4 x Duck Leg & Thigh Pieces (Skin On)

  • 1 Large White Onion (Sliced Thinly)

  • 6 Oranges

  • 5 Cloves Garlic (Smashed)

  • 1/2 Cup White Wine (Optional)

  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock

  • 3 Stalks Fresh Rosemary

  • 3 Stalks Fresh Thyme

  • ¼ Cup Fresh Parsley (Finely Chopped)

  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (Room Temperature)

  • 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour

  • Kosher Salt

  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper

  • Olive Oil



  1. Rub the duck leg portions with a mixture of salt and pepper, and then rest them in the fridge for at least two hours.

  2. Layer a large baking dish (I use a handle-less cast iron skillet) with a layer of onion.

  3. Scatter over the smashed garlic cloves.

  4. Slice two of the oranges and layer those over the onions and garlic.

  5. Layer the rosemary and thyme amongst the oranges, garlic and onions.

  6. Season this base with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.

  7. Take the rest of the oranges and peel them all carefully to remove the peel but not the white pith.

  8. Place this peel on a baking dish and bake in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit until it is completely dry.

  9. Blitz this peel to make an orange powder. (I make a lot of this. It is great to use as a dressing for scallops or other seafood, as well a its use for this dish.)

  10. When ready to cook, play the duck legs on top of this base, and sprinkle the duck legs with half of the orange powder you made from the peel.

  11. Add the white wine to the base (trying not to splash it over the duck – as you want a crisp skin).

  12. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and roast the duck until the internal temperature is 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

  13. While the duck is cooking, juice three of the remaining oranges and segment one to use as garnish.

  14. Remove the duck legs from the pan, cover loosely in foil and allow to rest.

  15. Place the baking dish on the stove and add the chicken stock.

  16. Simmer for 5-8 minutes and then strain to remove all of the onions, herbs, garlic, etc. Also, if you want, at this stage, you can pass it through a fat strainer to remove excess fat.

  17. Return the strained liquid to the pan and add the orange juice.

  18. Simmer gently for 2-3 minutes.

  19. Combine the flour and butter to form a paste and gently whisk this into the sauce until it begins to thicken and become slightly glossy.

  20. Check for seasoning, and add salt and pepper as needed.

  21. Add the chopped parsley and the orange segments.

  22. Layer the duck legs on a serving plate.

  23. Spoon the orange sauce over the duck legs.

  24. Sprinkle with the remaining orange powder before serving.

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