Duck à l’Orange is a classic French dish that showcases the culinary finesse of combining rich, succulent duck with a vibrant orange-infused sauce. The duck, typically roasted to golden perfection, is complemented by a sauce made from freshly squeezed orange juice, zest, and sometimes Grand Marnier or Cointreau for a hint of citrus liqueur. The result is a harmonious marriage of savory and sweet, with the robust flavor of duck perfectly complemented by the bright and zesty notes of the orange sauce. Duck à l’Orange is a timeless and elegant dish that exemplifies the artistry of French gastronomy, delivering a symphony of flavors that delights the senses.
Duck a l’Orange
- Instant-read thermometer (or other meat thermometer)
- 13-by 9-inch roasting pan
FOR THE DUCK
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 6 pound whole Long Island duck (also called Peking)
- 1 orange halved
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 4 fresh marjoram sprigs
- 2 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
- 1 small onion cut into 8 wedges
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup duck stock, or duck and veal stock, chicken stock, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 carrot
- 1/2 celery rib
FOR THE SAUCE
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup fresh orange juice (from 1 to 2 oranges)
- 2 tbsp white-wine vinegar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp duck or chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp fine julienne of fresh orange zest
TO MAKE THE DUCK
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 475°F.
- Stir together salt, coriander, cumin, and pepper. Pat duck dry and sprinkle inside and out with spice mixture. Cut 1 half of orange into quarters and put in duck cavity with thyme, marjoram, parsley, and 4 onion wedges.
- Squeeze juice from remaining half of orange and stir together with wine and stock. Set aside.
- Spread remaining 4 onion wedges in roasting pan with carrot and celery, then place duck on top of vegetables and roast 30 minutes.
- Pour wine mixture into roasting pan and reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Continue to roast duck until thermometer inserted into a thigh (close to but not touching bone) registers 170°F, 1 to 1¼ hours more. Turn on broiler and broil duck 3 to 4 inches from heat until top is golden brown, about 3 minutes.
- Tilt duck to drain juices from cavity into pan and transfer duck to a cutting board, reserving juices in pan. Let duck stand 15 minutes.
TO MAKE THE SAUCE
- While the duck roasts, cook sugar in a dry 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar melts into a deep golden caramel. Add orange juice, vinegar, and salt (use caution; mixture will bubble and steam vigorously) and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel is dissolved. Remove syrup from heat.
- Discard vegetables from roasting pan and pour pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a 1-quart glass measure or bowl, then skim off and discard fat. Add enough stock to pan juices to total 1 cup liquid.
- Stir together butter and flour to form a beurre manié. Bring pan juices to a simmer in a 1- to 2-quart heavy saucepan, then add beurre manié, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Add orange syrup and zest and simmer, whisking occasionally, until sauce is thickened slightly and zest is tender, about 5 minutes. Serve with duck.