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Duck L'Orange

Happy new year everyone!!!


This past festive season I took it very easy at home. I didn't spend much time in the kitchen because to be honest, I was exhausted. I feel like 2020 was in many ways exhausting for everyone.


Nonetheless, I did do something small and intimate for my little troop for Christmas dinner. I wanted to do something simple and slightly decadent so I opted to make duck.


It's something thats not traditionally done here in Kenya although we do have plenty of duck around. I scoured the internet streets for a whole duck recipe but came back round to doing my old time favourite of duck l'orange.



A simple recipe that doesn't take away from the gaminess of the duck but adds a beautiful citrus sweetness to the meal. Depending on the size of your duck this meal can easily serve 4 people.


Serves 4

For the duck

  • 1 whole duck

  • 4 whole oranges, quartered

  • 1 bunch of thyme

  • 3 large onions, cut into quarters

  • 12 medium sized roasting potatoes

  • Salt

  • Black pepper

  • 2 litres boiling water


For the glaze

  • Juice of 3 oranges

  • 3 tablespoons soft brown sugar

  • 2 start anise

  • 1 stick of cinnamon

For the sauce

  • 2 cups duck stock /wate

  • 1/2 cup orange juice

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tbs soft brown sugar

  • 1 sprig of thyme

  • 50 grams all purpose flour

  • 40 grams cold butter

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 20 grams julienned orange peel

Special Equipment

  • Roasting tray/dish

  • 1 whisk


Pre heat your oven to 180°C


Take your duck and place it in your roasting dish. Using the point of a sharp knife, poke the duck all over. Once this is done, take your boiling water and slowly pour half of it over the top half of the duck. Flip over the bird and pour the water slowly over the bottom half. (This helps to render some of the fat and makes the skin taught so you can have crispy skin) Drain all the liquid but save 2 cups of this water for use later.


Stuff the cavity of the duck with 1 large onion, 2 of the quartered oranges and half of the sprig of thyme. Sprinkle some salt and pepper all over the skin of the duck. Put your duck uncovered, breast side up on the middle shelf of the oven and let this cook for 45 minutes.


After 45 minutes, take your duck out and drain most of the fat. Add your potatoes into the dish and coat them in the duck fat and season them with salt and pepper. You can also add the rest of the oranges. Flip the bird over so that the underside is facing up and sitting on the potatoes. Put this back into the oven for another 45 minutes.


As the duck finishes off you can make the glaze and sauce.


For the glaze

Place all the ingredients into a saucepan on a medium heat. Stir and let it simmer on a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the glaze has slightly thickened. Take this off the heat and set aside.


For the sauce

Place your butter and flour into a pan on medium heat to make a roux. Add a bit of the reserved duck water to the roux and whisk to begin making your sauce, then add the sugar. At this point make sure you use a whisk and keep whisking.


Slowly add 1 cup of the duck water then add the julienned skins and thyme to the sauce. Keep whisking over the heat and add all the orange juice, apple cider vinegar and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. At this point you can stop whisking and monitor for the thickness you'd like for the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, you can add the duck water little by little and keep whisking until it gets to your desired consistency. If it is too light, you can add flour, little by little and keep whisking until it gets to your desired consistency. Once ready, set it aside.


Take the duck out of the oven and turn off the oven. Using using a food brush, glaze the bird generously all over and put the duck back into the cooling oven so that the glaze slightly caramelises and sticks to the bird. Take the duck back out and brush with the remaining glaze (if any) and serve with your orange sauce.





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