Margarita's International Recipes


Duck in Orange Sauce

I don't think duck is a prototypical protein in Californian cuisine, but it does show up in restaurant menus from time to time. This recipe from the Mendocino Hotel & Garden Suites may sound like a Californian version of canard à l'orange , but in reality it was called Roast Duck with Caramelized Apples. I meant to make the apples, but I at the end I didn't really feel like peeling them, so I omitted them altogether. Instead, I just served the roast duck with the citrus sauce. It was delicious.

I have to admit that I'm not a great fan of cooking duck - in particular a whole duck. There is very little meat in a duckling, and lots of bones and fat. The 4-lb duckling that this recipe calls for barely will feed two people. But the cooking instructions make for a very nice, perfectly cooked duck - and the sauce, as stated above, is just terrific. I will definitely make it again, though next time I'll serve it with chicken.

I did vary from the original recipe slightly, mostly for financial reasons. I used chicken broth instead of veal stock, though the latter would have been appreciatively better. I also used strawberry jam instead of red currant jelly, cornstarch instead of potato starch and cointreau instead of triple sec (because that's what I had at home). The results were so good that I wouldn't change anything (but the broth, perhaps).

Duck in Orange Sauce


  • 1 duckling, about 4 lbs.
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Zest from two oranges
  • Zest from two lemons
  • 2 tsp. corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp. cointreau
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp. strawberry jam


Preheat oven to 425F

Remove the giblets and excess fat from the duckling and discard. Wash the duckling well, inside and out, and pat dry. Season inside and out with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Put the duck in the saute pan and brown in all sides. Remove and carefully stuff with the zest of one orange and one lemon. Place in a roasting pan and put in the oven until done, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small bowl combine the corn starch with the cointreau, mix well and set aside.

In a small pot, combine the sugar with the vinegar and boil until it's reduced by 3/4th. Add the lemon and orange juice, mix well, and bring to a boil. Reduce until syurpy. Add the chicken stock and reduce by one third.

When the chicken is ready, remove from the pan and keep warm. Pour out the fat from the roasting pan (you may want to reserve it for other uses). Put the roasting pan in the stove, and deglace with the stock mixture. Add the jam and mix until blended. Add the corn starch mix and mix until it's dissolved and the sauce thickens. Adjust seasoning and strain. Serve the sauce over the duck.

Adapted from Linda & Steve Baurer Recipes from Historic California: A Restaurant Guide and Cookbook

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