While we are all obsessed with easier and quicker, there is sense of accomplishment that comes making the classics, like Crispy Duck a l’Orange.
The technique and preparation is more time consuming, but not nearly difficult.
Classic crispy duck a l’orange makes for a perfect holiday or special event dinner. Super juicy and flavorful meat with a crispy, seasoned skin.
Looks are deceiving for a duck. Although they look like the size of a chicken that would feed 4 people, they often only have enough meat for 2-3, purchase accordingly.
Make sure you PIN this Crispy Duck Recipe!
While the Duck a l’orange is amazingly tasty, the duck fat that rolls off your bird is almost like liquid gold. Reserve it in the freezer and roast vegetables or potatoes for another meal. You won’t believe the flavor!
A beautiful thing for a duck is a nice crispy skin. This can be achieved in two ways.
The first is allowing the duck to dry out in the refrigerator uncovered overnight and the second is to cover with boiling water, making the skin tighten up, and then coating with a salty crust that will suck up any remaining moisture. I use the later method for my Crispy Duck a l’Orange.
The a l’Orange sauce is simple and also takes great on chicken or even salmon.
Check out these other fun recipes:
Crispy Duck a l’Orange Recipe
- 4-5 pound duck giblets removed
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground marjoram
- 1 orange cubed
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
A l’Orange Sauce:
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup duck drippings
- 1 tablespoon butter room temperature
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 cup orange marmalade
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees and boil 2 cups water.
- Prepare a roasting pan or broiler pan an elevated grate.
- Place duck(s) on the broiler pan, pierce skin several times. This will allow the fats and steam to release from the duck, helping the skin crisp up.
- Pour boiling water over duck, the skin will tighten. Allow to cool and dry. Leave remaining water in the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Mix Kosher salt through marjoram in a small bowl. When duck is cooled and dry, generously rub skin with spice mixture, any remaining can be rubbed on the inside cavity. Stuff inside cavity with cubed orange and truss duck just like a turkey.
- Add orange juice and white wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Place duck into the oven at 475 degrees for 10 minutes to create the crust, then lower temperature to 350 degrees.
- Roast for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until thermometer registers to 170 degrees in the thigh. While duck roasts, start to assemble your orange sauce (see below).
- To finish, turn broiler on high, watching closely, for an additional 3-4 minutes to evenly brown the top of the duck.
- Remove, transfer to a cutting board and allow to cool while you finish off your a'l orange sauce.
- Pour liquid in the bottom of the roasting pan into a gravy separator. Skim off all fat* and measure out 1 cup drippings for the sauce.
A l’Orange Sauce:
- Place sugar in a dry saucepan over medium heat. Swirl every so often until sugar dissolves. It will start to melt and caramelize to an amber color.
- Immediately whisk in orange juice and white wine vinegar. Mixture will spit and sizzle, sugar will harden, but have no fear, keep stirring and it will dissolve. Set aside.
- In a separate small bowl, mash together room temperature butter with flour and set side.
- Whisk 1 cup duck drippings mixture with salt and butter-flour to make a thick paste. Stir in orange marmalade.
- Caramelized mixture should still be fairly warm, whisk with duck dripping-orange marmalade to make one sauce.
- Baste sauce all over duck right before serving. This keeps the skin crispy, but covers it with flavorful sauce.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!
Hello! What step do we add the thyme and pepper and other spices ? It just says to mix the salt and marjoram 🙂
Hi there Kayla, hope I got to you in time. Step 5 is salt through marjoram, so that includes the thyme and pepper 🙂 Enjoy!
I made this for dinner this evening and followed the recipe step by step. The only step I would modify next time (yes there will most definitely be a next time) would be during the preparation of the Orange Sauce. I think I will try to mix the drippings with the butter/flour mixture slowly and over heat. Doing it the way I interpreted the instructions did not result in a ‘thick paste’. I ended up heating the sauce to thicken it some after I mixed the two sauce steps together. The duck was extraordinary. A hot for all of my family – ages 9,12,18,19, 47 and 50. 🙂 Easy, indulgent and plate licking good – if one were a plate licker. Thank you so much.
Thanks for the feedback! We will take a look at the instructions and make adjustments. 🙂
im confused? on the suace #5 sounds like its finished then it goes to more??
Brush over cooked duck and serve. Enjoy! <—————
If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!
Whisk duck drippings mixture with salt and butter-flour to make a thick paste. Stir in orange marmalade.
Caramelized mixture should still be fairly warm, whisk with duck dripping-orange marmalade to make one sauce.
Baste sauce all over duck right before serving. This keeps the skin crispy, but covers it with flavorful sauce.
Emilee, I don’t blame you! We recently changed recipe card providers and this one apparently got all jumbled up. Thanks for letting us know, it is now fixed.
I’m thinking about trying this Duck a L’Orange for the first time, but I have a question regarding the L’Orange Sauce.
When do I mix in the caramelized sugar and OJ sauce created in Step 1?
Step 2 just says to set it aside, and the rest of the steps has me making an orange marmalade gravy.
Do I add the OJ caramel sauce created in Step 1 to the orange marmalade gravy crated in Step 4?
Also, Step 3 says to mash together butter with flour, but I don’t see these two ingredients in the list of L’Orange Sauce Ingredients.
Thank you, Tim
Hi Tim! I’d be happy to help you and sorry for the delay, I had a sick toddler on my hands today. We recently changed the service we use for recipe cards and some of the information didn’t migrate correctly, so thank you for pointing this one out. I am about to refine the ingredients and steps so hopefully there is clarification.