icon Canard a l'Orange

For the Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp Sherry vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp shallots, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
For the Duck:
  • 2 1-pound boneless duck breast halves
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 large oranges
  • 2 tbsp orange peel, grated


  1. Sauce and oranges can be prepared 6 hours ahead.
  2. Stir sugar and water in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil until syrup turns deep amber, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, 8 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat. Mix in vinegar (mixture will bubble vigorously). Add juice and shallots and boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Add broth; boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, 30 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Using a small knife, cut off the peel and white pith from 4 oranges. Working over bowl, cut between membranes to release segments. Cover and chill.
  5. Using a small knife, score duck skin (do not pierce meat) in crosshatch pattern. Sprinkle duck with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Place duck breasts skin side down in skillet. Cook until brown and crisp, about 8 minutes. Turn duck and cook to desired doneness, about 10 minutes longer for medium-rare. Transfer to cutting board. Let stand 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, bring sauce to simmer. Add butter and 1 tablespoon grated orange peel; whisk just until butter melts. Drain orange segments and mix into sauce. Set aside.
  7. Slice duck breasts crosswise on diagonal. Arrange on 4 plates. Spoon orange segments with sauce alongside. Sprinkle with remaining peel.
  8. YIELD: 4 servings.

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Last updated: October 29, 2009