Julia Child’s Roast Duck with Orange Sauce

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Caneton â l’orange or Roast Duck with Orange Sauce is probably one of the most popular duck dishes presented by Julia Child. Roast duck is decorated with fresh segments of orange and is served with orange-flavored brown sauce. The most important element of this recipe is its sauce – a meaty, rich, strong, sauce with duck essence that is darkened using caramel. The sauce is flavored with orange peel and wine. You are highly recommended to prepare your sauce well ahead of time, since it will give you enough room for roasting your duck and serving it immediately.


  • Navel oranges: 4 (brightly colored)
  • Ready-to-cook duckling: 1 (5½-lb)
  • Salt: ½ teaspoon
  • Pepper: a pinch
  • Red wine vinegar: ¼ cup
  • Granulated sugar: 3 Tablespoon
  • Strong, brown duck stock: 2 cups
  • Oranges: 4 (skinned)
  • Arrowroot: 2 Tablespoon (blend it with 3 tablespoon of Madeira)
  • Port or Madeira: ½ cup
  • Orange liqueur: 2 or 3 Tablespoon
  • Orange bitters or lemon juice: a few drops
  • Softened butter: 2 Tablespoon


1. Blanching the orange peel

Remove the orange skin with the help of a vegetable peeler. Cut the skin into julienne – 1/16 inch wide and 1/2 inch long strips. Take a pot and pour a quart of water into it. Simmer the orange peel for about 15 minutest to remove the bitterness. Drain and pat dry.

2. Roasting the duck

Take your duck and season it with salt and pepper. Next, put 1/3 of the prepared orange peel and tie the duck. Take a decent sized roasting pan and place the duck breast up in it. Strew all the vegetables around the duck and set the pan in the middle level of your oven. Let it cook for about 15 minutes until the duck is slightly browned.

Reduce the oven to precisely 350 F, and turn the duck slowly to its sides. Make sure that the fat is not burning. Regulate the heat carefully. Remove the accumulated fat once in a while. After 30 minutes of cooking, turn the duck slowly to its other side.

About 15 minutes before your take the duck out, salt it according to your taste and turn it breast side up. If the juices are turned pale yellow, your duck is cooked.

The sauce

While your duck is roasting in the oven, you need to make a sweet and sour caramel coloring. Take a pan and pour vinegar into it. Add the sugar and heat cook it over medium heat until the mixture turns into brown-colored syrup. Remove the mixture from heat immediately and pout in half-cup duck stock.

Let the mixture simmer for a minute or two. Don’t forget to stir it continuously in order to dissolve the caramel. Add the rest of the duck stock into the mixture and beat in the arrowroot mixture. Put the orange peel into the mixture and let everything simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes. When the sauce is limped, clear and lightly thickened, it is ready. Season it to taste and set aside.

The orange segments

Take the oranges and cut them into skinless, neat segment. Take a serving platter and place the oranges on it.

Final assembly of the dish

Discard the tying strings once the duck is cooked. Set it on the serving platter. Place it in your turned-off oven. Don’t forget to leave the door of the oven ajar.

Next, remove the fat from roasting pan, add wine and boil the mixture rapidly. Simmer it until it is reduced to just two to three tablespoons of liquid

Pour the wine reduction into the sauce and simmer it for a minute or two. Pour orange liquor and taste. The sauce must have a delicious orange flavor. Make sure that it is not too sweet. Add a few drops of orange juice to the sauce at the end.

Swirl the butter enrichment just before serving. Pour the delicious orange sauce into a sauceboat. Place the orange segment over the duck and sides of the platter. Spoon some sauce over the duck, and serve!

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