Roast Duck With Orange Sauce - Canard a L' Orange Julia Child

READY IN: 3hrs




  • Start the stock for the sauce well in advance.
  • Brown duck parts with carrot and onion in oil. (or brown carrot and onion with gleaned duck fat).
  • Add bullion and water.
  • Simmer with herbs and reduce to 2 cups.
  • Skim fat, any scum, strain, and set aside, or refrigerate until needed.
  • To begin the sauce, bring water to simmer while preparing orange peel.
  • The peel is for both the roasting duck, and the sauce. This also, needs to be done in advance.
  • Peel oranges, making sure that the strips are only the orange colored part, not the bitter white.
  • Julienne into strips about 1/8" or less by 1 1/2 ".
  • Simmer in water 6 minutes, drain, rinse in cold water, dry, and set aside.
  • Peel orange segments, put in covered container, and set aside, or refrigerate.
  • Prepare duck by trimming loose fat, making sure all feathers are gone, and remove wishbone from breast (optional).
  • Prick skin to allow fat to escape, and to baste the duck during the cooking.
  • Season cavity of ducks with salt and pepper, and place 1/3 of orange peel and 1/3 of orange segments inside.
  • The small ducklings will take about 25 to 30 minutes to roast, so you might want to continue the sauce at this point and preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • In a saucepan, blend sugar and vinegar over low heat to dissolve.
  • Boil rapidly until mixture begins to caramelize.
  • Lower heat to simmer, add half the duck stock, and stir until mixture is no longer caramelized.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add remaining stock, blended cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the port, remaining orange peel, and all but a few orange segments (saved for garnish).
  • Simmer for 3-4 minutes, correct seasoning, and keep warm. Sauce should be clear and slightly thickened.
  • Place ducklings on rack in small roasting pan, breast side up and place in oven.
  • Roast 5 minutes, reduce heat to 350°F, and turn on side, and place back in oven.
  • Continue to roast and turn, until duck is breast up. Roast 25 to 30 minutes total.
  • When ducklings are done (juice will be rosy clear) place on warmed individual platters and keep warm.
  • Finish sauce by removing fat from roasting pan and deglaze with port.
  • Add to sauce.
  • Bring sauce to simmer, add orange liqueur, and correct seasoning with lemon juice if sauce seems too sweet.
  • Remove sauce from heat, swirl in butter and spoon some over ducks and put remainder in a warmed sauceboat.
  • Garnish ducks with remaining orange segments, place rice and peas on platters and serve.