Duck à l'Orange

Add some ooh-la-la to your next dinner à deux with Michel Lemoine's version of France's classic duck dish served with creamy, orange-scented vegetables
By Michel Lemoine
Duck à l'Orange
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the sauce

  • 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 300 ml orange juice
  • 150 ml dark chicken stock

For the vegetables

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ celeriac
  • 2 carrots, cut into fine strips
  • 1 leek, white part only, cut into very fine strips
  • salt and black pepper
  • 50 ml Grand Marnier
  • 100 ml double cream

For the duck

  • 2 duck breast
  • sprigs parsley, to garnish


1. Pare the rind from the orange in thick strips. Using a small sharp serrated knife, remove the individual segments from the membrane and place in a small bowl.

2. Take half the orange rind and cut it into thin strips of zest, discarding any excess pith. Fill a small saucepan with water to a depth of one-third and bring to the boil. Add the strips of orange zest and boil for 30 seconds before draining and refreshing under a cold tap. Set aside to drain thoroughly.

3. Combine the brown sugar and vinegar in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer until the volume of liquid has reduced by half. Add the orange juice, return to the boil and again simmer until reduced by half. Add the chicken stock, return to the boil and simmer until the liquid is a sauce consistency -thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

4. Meanwhile, start the vegetables. Melt the butter in a pan and gently sweat the celeriac, carrots and leeks for about 4 minutes making sure that they do not take on any colour. Season with salt and pepper, then add the Grand Marnier and double cream, and cook gently for 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

5 Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Using a sharp knife, score the skin side of the duck breasts in a fine criss-cross pattern. Place a frying pan over a high heat. Season the duck with salt and pepper and sear it skin-side down until the fat melts away and the skin is a deep golden colour. Turn the duck over and sear flesh side for 30 seconds.

6. Drain the excess fat from the frying pan, then transfer the duck to the hot oven, skin-side down, for 6-7 minutes. When the duck skin is crisp, remove from the oven and leave the breasts to rest skin-side up.

7. To finish the sauce, add the blanched orange zest and bring the mixture to the boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and carefully add the orange segments and allow them to warm through.

8. To serve, spoon the creamy vegetables into the middle of a plate. Slice the duck and arrange it on top of the vegetables. Place the orange segments on top of the duck and pour the sauce around it. Garnish with parsley sprigs before serving.

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