Duck Al’ Orange – Alias: Canard a l’Orange; Duck in Orange Sauce

Here I propose an easy way to prepare the famous “Canard a l’ Orange”. It only takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and about 1 hour to cook, depending on the size of the bird. To serve 4 people you will need the following ingredients:

One whole duck, preferably Mulard duck.

4 spoons olive oil

1 cup dry white wine

3 bitter oranges

Salt

Many think that this recipe is French while its roots are actually Tuscan. Caterina de’ Medici (born in Florence in 1519, wife to Enrico di Valois and mother to two kings (Enrico III and Carlo IX) introduced her refined ways and cuisine into the French court from Florence. This recipe was just one of many that she brought over.

Clean the duck, trimming off any excess fat. Salt the inside of the duck and place it in a pan with olive oil. Brown it for a few minutes on each all around and then add the white wine and some water.

Continue cooking with the lid on and a low flame, for 45-60 minutes depending on the duck’s size. Add salt once cooking is finished.

In the meantime, clean one orange and with a small, sharp knife, remove the yellow part from the skin and cut it into thin strips. Boil the strips for a few minutes and strain them thoroughly. Juice the other two oranges (make sure to use bitter oranges!) and add the orange juice to the duck along with the orange strips.

Let the juice reduce then serve immediately, decorating with the orange strips. Accompanied preferably by either Champagne or a “Brut” sparkling wine.

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