French Roast Duck perfect for Date Night

Canard L’Oranje – French Roast Duck with Orange Sauce ..
What a special treat pictured here with white and wild rice and french cut green beans.

For a quick peek at a scene out of Rigoletto, click here.. Tip when you have the opra to watch the subtitles in English make it easy to enjoy and understand. Rigoletto is a fun beginner’s opera.  Our favorite is with the Vienna Philharmonic with Pavarotti.  Click here for a synopsis.

Wine of choice is:

a Domaine Carnerous, La Terre Promise – Pinot Nior.

This is a French classic canard (duck) which can seem intimidating, but is quite easy to prepare.  If you can roast a chicken you can roast a duck.  The trickiest part of the sauce is caramelizing the sugar.  Just take care not to leave the sauce pan over heat too long… and you should have no problem.. – I would not suggest for dinner parties… this is a difficult dish to eat “daintily”..  Great as dinner for two!


  • 1 whole duck ( 2 people)
  • Salt & pepper– to season
  • Oranges 3
  • Sugar — 1/4 cup
  • Red or Pomegranate wine (we use pomegranate vinegar)
  • Chicken Stock — 2 cups
  • Corn starch or arrowroot — 2 tablespoons
  • White wine or Port — 1/3 cup (we use port)
  • Grand Marnier liqueur — 3 tablespoons
  • Butter softened — 2 tablespoons


  1. Preheat oven to 425′ F.  Remove the duck from the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before roasting. Wash in cold water, pat it dry with paper towels and tuck the wings under the body to keep them from burning.  Prick the duck skin all over with a skewer or toothpick.  Trim any excess fat from the opening of the body cavity.  Season liberally inside and out with salt and pepper.
  2. Set duck on a rack in the roasting pan.  Place on lowest rack in the oven and roast for about 15 minutes.  Then reduce the heat to 350′ and continue to roast, basting with the pan juices every 15 – 20 minutes until the duck is cooked through and through.  The temperature in the thickest part should be between 165 – 175′ F.  (use a meat thermometer).  Depending on your oven and the size of your bird this should take anywhere from 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  3. While the duck is roasting, prepare the sauce.  Zest the oranges,m taking care not to get any of the pitter white pith. Squeeze the juice from the oranges and set aside with the zest.
  4. Add the sugar and vinegar to a medium sauce pan.  Set the pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly until sugar is completely dissolved and starts turn golden brown. Immediately remove from heat and carefully stir in the reserved orange juice. (Caution – the caramelized sugar tends to splatter.)
  5. Return to flame and add the chicken stock.  Whisk over low heat until the caramelized sugar is completely dissolved.  At this point the sauce base can be set aside until the duck is finished roasting.
  6. When the duck is finished, remove it from the oven … tent it loosely with foil and set it aside to rest for 15 – 20 minutes.  Skim any excess fat from the roasting pan and add the wine or port. Place the roasting pan on the stove top over medium heat and bring to a boil, scraping up any bits of drippings off the pan.  Pour the pan juices into the sauce pan with the sauce base.  Strain the sauce, return it to the pan and stir in the reserved orange zest.
  7. Bring the sauce to a simmer over low heat.  Stir the cornstarch and Grand Mariner together in a small bowl, then whisk the slurry into the simmering sauce to thicken.  Remove the sauce from heat and slowly whiles in the butter to enrich the sauce.
  8. Split the duck in two using kitchen shears.
  9. Prep your plates:  place green beans at 10 o’clock and using an ice cream scoop place rice on top of the beans.  The duck will cover the middle and  bottom right side of the plate.  Pour sauce over duck before taking to table.
  10. Serve extra sauce in a gravy boat at the table.

Additional Preparations:

  1. Prepare rice according to package instructions and put on during the time the duck is roasting.
  2. Green beans only take about 15 minutes to steam to eldante’.  It will take about 15 minutes to trim ends.  This can be done ahead and then only the pot needs to be placed on to steam the beans while the duck resting and you are finishing the Orange Sauce.
  3. It is optimal to pre heat your dinner plates.  If you don’t  have heat lamps to use… the best alternative is to place them in the still hot oven after the fowl has been removed and the oven turned off.

Bon Appetite!


Yes, you can dine like a king…

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