Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Canard à l'orange

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I'll mention it again, I love mixing meat with fruit.  But of course, the sweetness of the fruits have to compliment the savouriness of the meat, vice versa.

Food historians says that the practise of pairing of citrus fruits with fatty meat is thousands of years old.  The acid in the fruits contacts the fat in the meat, making the dish more enjoyable and digestible. Think: pork and apples, goose and cherry or plums and duck à l'orange.

This classic French dish is so delicious and not at all difficult to make.  Feel free though to cook the duck to your liking.  I like mine not so much still quacking, but a nice medium, that way you really get the taste and tenderness of the duck.

Canard à l'orange
by Stéphane Reynaud
Serves 6

3 Breasts from a fattened duck
4 Oranges
1 tablespoon honey
200 ml soy sauce
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
50 g butter
  1. Take the zest from two of the oranges, the juice from three, and the peeled segments from one.
  2. Slash the fatty side of the duck breasts in a criss-cross pattern (the flesh should show through). Mix the juice with the zest, cinnamon, honey and soy sauce.
  3. Place the duck breasts in a dish, skin side up, pour over the sauce. Chill for 24 hours.
  4. Pan-fry the duck, skin side down, for 10 minutes on a gentle heat (the fat needs to melt and brown). Drain off the fat and return the meat to the pan. Add the orange segments, half of the marinade, and allow to reduce for 5 minutes. Remove the meat and whisk in the butter to make a sauce


  1. Such an elegant dish. A beautiful recipe, Michael.

  2. I agree fruit and meat are an excellent match...
    The preparation here looks flawless!

  3. This looks fantastic! im with you - fruit and meat! perfect marriage!