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Duck with Orange Sauce
(Canard l'Orange)

From The Great Book of French Cuisine, by Henri Paul Pellaprat


4- to 5-pound ready-to-cook duck
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup white stock (veal or chicken)
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 medium-sized oranges
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
1-1/2 cups orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice


Truss the duck and rub the skin and the body cavity with 1 teaspoon of the salt and the black pepper. Place it on a rack in a roasting pan and put it in a preheated very hot oven (450F; 235C). Roast 20 minutes or until duck is golden brown, turning it to brown all sides.

Transfer the duck to another pan. Remove the rack. Pour off and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Add the butter to the roasting pan and heat until it is melted. Blend in the flour. Stir and cook over medium-low heat until the roux is light brown. Add the stock, wine, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir and cook until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Add the duck to the sauce. Cover and cook in a preheated moderate oven (350F; 175C) 1 hour or until duck is tender.

Cut the peel (zest) from the oranges, being careful not to include the bitter white portion. Cut the peel into very fine strips, place them in water to cover, and boil 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Cut off and discard the white bitter portion from the oranges, cut them into slices, and set aside.

ransfer duck to a warm platter and keep it warm. Skim off and discard all excess fat from the sauce. Cook until the sauce has reduced to 1 cup. Cook the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the syrup is straw-color, then add to the sauce. Stir in the orange juice and lemon juice. Bring the sauce to boiling point and boil 1 minute. Add the orange peel and additional salt if needed. Carve the duck into 4 servings and place it on a warmed platter, spooning some of the sauce over it. Serve the remaining sauce in a sauceboat. Garnish the platter with the orange slices. Makes 4 servings.

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