icon Canard Rôti aux Clémentines
(Roasted Whole Duck
With Tangerine Sauce)

adapted from Gourmet Magazine


  • 1 (6- to 7-pound) duck, thawed and excess fat discarded
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 medium onion, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 large celery rib, cut crosswise into 4 pieces
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 lb (6-10 pieces) seedles tangerines (clementines)
  • 4 tbsp each of red-wine vinegar and madeira wine
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 2 tbsp Mandarine Napoléon liqueur, Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot
  • Salt and pepper
  • Special equipment: heavy-duty foil


    Braising the Duck:
  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 deg F.
  2. Working from large cavity end, separate duck skin (including fat) from breast meat as much as possible by working your fingers between skin and meat, being careful not to tear the skin. Pierce skin all over the duck with a fork. Place the duck breast side up in a large flameproof roasting pan. Rub inside and out with kosher salt. Stuff duck cavity with onions, celery and the bouquet garni. Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar around the duck. Pour enough boiling-hot water over the duck to help tighten the skin, to reach about halfway up the duck. Do not fill the roasting pan more than 1 inch from the rim. Cover pan tightly with heavy-duty foil, then carefully transfer to oven and braise ducks for 30-45 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and remove foil (do not discard), then carefully turn the duck over (breast sides down) using one large wooden spoon to turn and another inside cavity. Cover with the foil, then carefully return to the oven and braise until meat is very tender but not falling off the bone, another 30-45 minutes (or less, if meat starts coming off the bones).
  4. Remove pan from the oven and discard foil. Transfer the duck with wooden spoons to a large plate, draining any juices inside the duck back into pan. Transfer the cooking liquid to a large bowl. Return the duck to roasting pan breast sides up. Cool the duck and cooking liquid separately, uncovered, then chill, uncovered, at least 4 hours (to firm up duck before roasting and to solidify the fat on cooking liquid).
    Preparing Glaze and Sauce:
  1. Discard all fat from chilled cooking liquid.
  2. Remove zest from 2 large or 4 small tangerines in strips with a vegetable peeler. Trim any white pith from the zest with a sharp paring knife and cut zest into fine julienne strips. Blanch strips in a small saucepan of boiling water 5 minutes, then drain.
  3. Squeeze enough juice from the remaining tangerines to measure 2 cups and pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a 3-quart heavy saucepan.
  4. Boil 1 tbsp sugar with several tbsp water over low heat without stirring until caramel is formed.
  5. Carefully pour in the vinegar using a glove, then tangerine juice, Madeira, and add the remaining 1 tbsp sugar, and a dash of salt and pepper. Boil until reduced to about 1/3 cup (glaze will bubble up and darken), about 15 minutes.
  6. Reserve 1 tbsp glaze in a cup to brush on the duck, then stir julienned zest and 1 cup cooking liquid into glaze remaining in pan and reserve for sauce. Reserve remaining cooking liquid.
    Roasting the Duck and Finishing the Sauce:
  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 500 deg F.
  2. Roast the duck until skin is crisp, 25 to 35 minutes. Brush reserved glaze (from cup) on the duck, then transfer the duck to a platter and let stand while finishing sauce, at least 10 minutes.
  3. Pour off all but 1 tbsp fat from the roasting pan and straddle pan over 2 burners. Add shallot and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened and pale golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid and deglaze pan by boiling, scraping up brown bits, 2 minutes. Pour through fine-mesh sieve into sauce (containing julienned zest) and bring to a boil.
  4. Stir together liqueur and arrowroot and whisk into sauce. Simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes, then season sauce with salt and pepper. Serve the duck whole or carved into serving pieces with the sauce.
YIELD: 4 servings.

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Last updated: December 1, 2009