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

"It was near my husband's birthday when a dear friend gave me two ducklings. Michael loves duck, so I asked him how he wanted them fixed. This is my adaptation of Julia Child's recipe for Duck a l'Orange. The ducklings were a perfect one serving size, 15 ounces, and 17 ounces. The recipe that I had, said that a 5 pound duck would take 1 hour and 30 minutes. Since ours were just about a pound each, they only took 25 minutes. Thank you, Jenny!"
photo by Sweetiebarbara photo by Sweetiebarbara
photo by Sweetiebarbara
photo by Sweetiebarbara photo by Sweetiebarbara
photo by Sweetiebarbara photo by Sweetiebarbara
photo by Sweetiebarbara photo by Sweetiebarbara
photo by Sweetiebarbara photo by Sweetiebarbara
Ready In:
2 small ducklings




  • 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.

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I live in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with my husband and our cat, Lizzie Borden. We had a wonderful dog, and now have 3 more cats to keep us company.
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