Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Orange duck
( Anatra all'arancia )

Authentic Italian recipes

Duck in orange sauce is very tasty but at the same time delicate. The recipe is perfect for a special occasion because it can be combined with many other dishes. It also looks very nice for you can garnish it well. There is only one problem. Do you have to cook duck with or without its skin? Here schools of thought are divided. I will introduce two different versions of mine, both simple. The first is without skin while in the second one duck is cooked with its skin. You will have a real surprise comparing calories. Orange duck is one of the most fashionable dishes for Holiday menus but I think it is ideal for the whole winter period too.

difficulty: easy

time: 1 hour 50 minutes

calories: 364 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 6

  • 1 1.8kg (4 pounds) whole raw duck
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 100ml (3 1/3 fluid ounces) Cointreau liquor
  • 250g (8 3/4 ounces) leek
  • 2 oranges
  • Salt
  • To garnish
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 40g (1 1/2 ounce) black olives, stoned
  • Salt
easy recipe
preparation: 30 minutes
cooking: 80 minutes
total: 1 hour 50 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 364 (kcal) 19 % - 1524 (kJ)
Protein: 28.7 (g) 58 % GDA
Total fat: 19.1 (g) 28 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 8.3 (g) 4 % GDA
Sugars: 8.3 (g) 10 % GDA

Download free PDF version (209 download).

Orange duck recipe

Let's see together the first version without skin of duck in orange juice. You have already seen its ingredients, listed above. Also nutrition facts are related to this version.

Preparation and cooking

  • - Prepare duck.
    Remove skin from duck as much as possible.
    Remove most of visible fat too.
    Cut duck into pieces.
  • - Clean leek and slice finely (clearer green part included).
  • - Put olive oil, duck pieces and leek in a large pan.
    Let all fry slightly on low heat, turning duck pieces now and then.
  • - Add Cointreau liquor and let all ingredients flavor on low heat.
    Remember to turn duck pieces.
  • - Meanwhile squeeze oranges.
  • - Pour orange juice into your pan.
    Let all flavor for some minutes and then add 1 to 2 ladles of hot water.
    Season to taste with salt and continue cooking on very low heat, half-covered, until meat is tender and cooking juice is well reduced.
    Add other hot water only if necessary.

Just before serving

  • - Serve orange duck warm.
    To garnish your dish: slice oranges, sprinkle with olive oil and salt and add black olives too as you can see in the photo.
    You have the side-dish in the same serving platter.

Here is the second version of orange duck with its skin. I remember you the ingredients you'll need for this recipe: a duck of the same weight, 3 oranges, 300ml (10 fluid ounces - 1 1/3 cup) dry white wine, 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil and salt. You can read its calories below, in healthy eating.

orange duck pieces cooked with its skin and orange zest zoom » Orange duck

Preparation and cooking

  • - Prepare duck.
    Singe duck to eliminate any spikes of feathers more easily.
    Clean it well and cut it into pieces.
    Add salt inside the duck.
  • - Put olive oil and duck pieces in a saucepan and brown all over.
    Then add wine and a ladle of hot water.
    Cook, half-covered, on very low heat for about 45 to 60 minutes, according to the duck size.
    Your duck must be tender but not completely cooked.
    Cooking juice must be well reduced.
    Season with salt at the end.
  • - Meanwhile peel an orange and, with a little sharp knife, eliminate all trace of white pith.
    Cut into little strips and boil for some minutes. Drain very well.
  • - Squeeze the other 2 oranges and put apart.

Just before serving

  • - Add orange juice and orange strips to the duck in the pan.
    Let all simmer until well reduced. Serve hot.



  • - You can prepare your orange duck in advance leaving the final reduction of cooking liquid just before serving.

Menu planning

  • - Which recipe in the case of guests at table? orange duck with or without skin? Here we are talking about the whole duck in which there is also the problem of ossicles. But the duck is good and then how to do? if it is a formal dinner or lunch, my tip is to serve only portions with no ribs.
    About the original question I have no doubt to suggest my version without skin. In my life I've seen too many people that are not fond of duck fat.

Useful links for this recipe

Healthy eating

  • - Nutrition facts you see at the top of the page refer to the orange duck recipe without skin.
    They also include oranges that garnish the dish and their seasoning.
    Think of it: on one occasion I had fun to weigh the discarded skin: over 600 grams (1 1/3 pound), 1/3 of the whole duck.
    Fibers in this dish are very few because they derive only from sliced ​​oranges: 2 grams per serving.
  • - Instead, these are the values ​​ of my version with skin. I got dizzy when I calculated them and I am absolutely convinced that anyone will abandon the idea of ​​eating the duck with its skin after reading them, right? ;))
    Energy: 1025 kcal (4287 kJ) - more or less half of our daily calories
    Protein: 27.7g
    Total fat: 99.4g - fat daily limit far exceeded
    Carbohydrates: 2.5g
    sugars: 2.5g
    Fiber: 0.0 g


What's the right wine for " Orange duck "?

My husband and I always pair Italian Prosecco or a good-quality Italian sparkling Wine. It is the best choice not only for orange duck but for the whole menu too.

A little history

Many people think orange duck is from France. It's not true! Catherine de' Medici, born in Florence in 1519, bride of Henry II de Valois and mother of two French kings (Henry III and Charles IX) introduced haute cuisine into the court of France from her Florence. Among her recipes there was this one too!