Thursday, November 28, 2013

Duck a l'Orange - Anthony Bourdain's recipe

Duck a l'Orange
Happy Thanksgiving, friends! 
In these days, when everybody is preparing turkey, I'd like to say share a duck recipe. 
Well, the first thing I have to say is, that I do not like the taste of duck meat. 
I am sorry to admit, but according to me there are many birds which are far tastier. 
What I like very much is Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook with all the technics explained and warnings and sense of humour. So, bearing in mind, a had a duck in my freezer and Bourdain's book on my bookshelf, I decided to make a try. 
This recipe requires a lot of preparation, which makes it possible only on weekends. 
The taste of the citrus sauce is irresistible - this is the crown of the recipe - full of flavor, tangy and rich, with the exact amount of sweetness the duck needs. 
The skin of the duck gets crispy and the meat - tender and succulent. But I still prefer other kind of meat and I am sure, this sauce will be a perfect match for pork chops for instance.
I rewrote the recipe exactly as it is in the cookbook, but according to me (or to my stove) the time for roasting shall be slightly longer, at least by half an hour. 
I will be glad to have your opinion about duck and to have your favorite recipe for duck preparation.
DuckDuck a l'Orange

  • 1 fresh duck
  • 1/2 orange, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 lemon, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1/2 cup (100 ml) red wine vinegar
  • 2 ounces (56 g) sugar
  • 2 cups (450 ml) chicken stock
  • 3 ounces (75 ml) Grand Marnier
  • 2 Tbsp (28 g) butter
  • zest of 2 oranges, confited
  • juice of 1/2 orange
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 oranges, peeled and segmented
Confited OrangePreparation:
Cook the duck:
Preheat oven to 250°F (130°C). 
Wash duck, cut the wing tips, season cavity and skin with salt and pepper. 
Place the orange and lemon pieces into the cavity of the bird. Truss the duck with a kitchen string. Place it in a roasting pan and cook for 25 minutes. 
Remove from oven to cool at room temperature. 
Rise oven heat to 350°F (180°C). Place back the roasting pan with the duck in the oven, but this time elevate duck from the bottom of the pan putting it on a wire rack or on top of some carrots or potatoes. Cook for about 1 hour and 15 minutes until the skin gets crispy and golden. Remove duck from the oven and let it rest. 
Duck a l'Orange

Prepare the sauce:
Combine vinegar and sugar in medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until sugar dissolves completely and the liquids starts to resemble light caramel. Remove from heat and add slowly the chicken stock. Simmer sauce for 45 minutes on low heat. Discard excess fat of the roasting pan where you cooked the duck, place the now grease less pan over high heat and add the Grand Marnier. Stir up all browned particles and add the liquid to the simmering sauce. Simmer until sauce is reduced by half, strain and season with salt and pepper. Bring to boil, add butter and the confited orange zest, orange juice and lemon juice. 
Arrange orange segments on a platter around the duck and pour sauce around and over it. Carve like a chicken and enjoy. 


  1. It looks fabulous! I bet it tastes delicious!

    1. Thank you, Rachel, it really did!

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  3. Like most Bourdain recipes, it's possible because of the detailed explanations he provides to figure out a simpler cut-down version that is easier to prepare. In this case to make dinner for just two people I went for roast duck legs, plus roasted potatoes, and then used his full recipe for the orange sauce with the exception of substituting plain orange zest (I had the fresh fruit available in the kitchen) for the confited (much harder either to find or to make). This made it possible to cook this dish straighforwardly in an early evening. And it was absolutely splendid. As ever with Bourdain, given his French training, the sauce just sings and brings everything together wonderfully.