The duck should be roasted or pot-roasted and its cooking juices then mixed with orangey additions to make a rich sauce. This version is as uncomplicated as it is decadent, for even though the rather retro Grand Marnier or Cointreau are left out, the sauce starts with caramel and is finished off with butter.
Preheat the oven to 180°C1350°F/gas mark 4.
Put the carrots, most of the shallots, the bay leaf and half the orange quarters into a roasting tin. Squeeze the orange quarters a little to release some juice. Put the remaining shallot and orange quarters inside the ducks cavity set it on the vegetables and roast for about 1 hour 15 minutes basting as often as you can, every 30 minutes would be ideal.
Remove the duck from the oven pour off the meat cooking juices into a bowl then keep the duck warm If you feel like it press the cooking vegetables through a conic sieve to extract all the flavour from them into the juices then discard the sieve contents.
Put the sugar into a medium heavy based saucepan and add 2 tablespoons water. Heat it slowly turning the pan but not stirring with a spoon (otherwise crystals then lumps will form) until it becomes a syrup Let this bubble for about 2 minutes until it starts to caramelise.
When it is a dark golden colour take it off the heat and gently add the duck cooking juices the orange zest and juice. Be careful the caramel doesn’t spit and burn you.
Put the pan back on the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes to reduce the sauce then season with salt and pepper. Whisk the butter into the sauce add the orange slices and ft them heat through
Bring the duck to the table and carve it there, its very easy and wont take long as there are only four pieces to dislodge Serve with boiled new potatoes and baby carrots
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