Paddock To Plate

How To Cook Duck A L'Orange

In the Riverland Region of South Australia, Matt Moran experiences for the first time, what it is like to hunt, cook and then eat wild duck. Here he shows you how to cook Duck a l’Orange at home.

Duck a l’Orange  is a classic French dish in which a duck is roasted and served with orange sauce and oranges.

Matt visits an organic citrus farm, called Fat Goose Fruits, run by husband and wife team  Humphrey Howie and Michelle Medhurst. The Riverland produces 25% of Australia’s citrus, so Matt’s here to get his hands on some Valencia oranges: one of the juiciest varieties around.

Follow Matt in the video above so you too can cook a Duck a l’Orange at home. 

• 2 wild ducks
• 1 orange, cut in half, plus 3 extra oranges, peeled, pith removed, flesh thickly sliced
• 1 onion, cut in half
• 4 sprigs of thyme
• Pinch of Chinese five spice powder
• 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
• 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
• 2 onions, coarsely chopped
• ½ leek, coarsely chopped 
• 750 ml red wine
• 500 ml (2 cups) brown chicken stock or good quality chicken stock
• Juice of 3 oranges
• 3 sprigs of thyme
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 1 star anise
• 12 whole black peppercorns
• Orange glaze
• Juice of 4 oranges


  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C and prepare the ducks by washing in cold water and pat drying with paper towel.
  2. Stuff the cavity of each of the ducks with half an orange, half an onion and 2 sprigs of thyme, and then rub the ducks with Chinese five spice powder.
  3. Truss the ducks by tying string around the legs, then up and over the winglets then tying down around the neck to push the breast out, set aside.
  4. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan, add the carrot, onion and leek and sauté until beginning to colour (4-5 minutes), then spread in the base of a heavy cast iron saucepan large enough to hold the duck in a single layer and set aside.
  5. Heat the remaining oil in the same frying pan, add the duck and brown all over (3-4 minutes), then place over the vegetables in the cast iron pan, skin-side up.
  6. Add wine, stock, orange juice, star anise and peppercorns, season to taste with Murray River salt and freshly ground black pepper, cover with a lid, then roast in oven until juices run clear when a knife is inserted into the thigh (3 hours).
  7. To make the orange glaze, simmer the orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until a thick syrupy consistency is achieved (15-20 minutes), set aside. 

NOTE: This dish is also excellent served with potatoes roasted in duck fat until they’re golden and crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

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