Duck a l'Orange (Best Roast Duck with a Boil-up Method)

11:51 pm on 21 April 2008

This is the tenderist, moistest roast duck imaginable with the best sauce ever. It’s everything about roast duck that is good, at the same time as being a bit like honey soy chicken nibbles and find me someone who doesn’t like those. The boiling first method removes any possibility of toughness or dryness in the bird, and having the lion’s share of the preparation completed the day before makes for a more relaxed cook at the party.


  • 1 duck
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • Small nub of ginger root, sliced
  • ½ cup port
  • ½ cup light soy sauce
  • juice of 6 oranges
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • salt & pepper


The day before you wish to serve the roast duck, cut the onion and celery into chunks and put inside the duck. 

Put duck into a large pot and add cold water until the duck is almost, but not quite covered.

Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer and put the lid on the pot.  Simmer for one hour then turn the duck over in the water and add the ginger, port, soy, orange juice and brown sugar.

Cover and simmer for another hour. Then turn off and allow to cool.

Carefully remove duck from pot to a plate, cover and refrigerate.  Strain the liquid into a jug or bowl and refrigerate.

The next day reduce liquid to about a cup in a saucepan.

Cut duck in half, lengthwise along backbone.  Carefully remove the ribcage and backbone.

Place duck into an ovenproof serving dish, skin side up and cook for 30 - 40 minutes in a 200°C oven.  Check and correct, if necessary, the seasoning of the reduced liquid which is now the sauce. 

John Hawkesby’s wine suggestion


  • St. Clair 2007
  • Camshorn Classic 2007

Pinot Gris

  • Huntaway Reserve 2007

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