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Duck a l’orange

Megan Widdows
Written by

Megan Widdows

Reviewed by dietitian

Fiona Moncrieff

2 min read
Last updated May 2024

Try our lower-carb take on this classic meal. Packed with vegetables, this duck dish will impress any guests at your dinner party.

Recipe: Duck a l’orange

Prep and cooking time: 25 mins

Serves: 2


  • 2 duck breasts, with skin on
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 oranges, 2 juiced, 1 segmented and zested
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tbsp red wine
  • 30g butter
  • 100ml water


    1. Score the duck breasts skin and fat by running a sharp knife through the fat just until it hits the pinky/red flesh. It should be in crisscrosses.
    2. Mix the orange juice, pieces/segments and zest into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the cinnamon, soy sauce, star anise, and red wine, and set aside.
    3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium non-stick frying pan, over high heat.
    4. Add the duck breasts skin side down and fry for 3-5mins on high heat until the breasts are starting to crisp.
    5. Reduce the heat and cook on the skin side for a further 5-8mins. The fat needs to melt down and brown nicely. Drain the fat from the pan and return the meat to the pan.
    6. Add the orange mixture, butter, a sprinkle of pepper, and allow the sauce to reduce for 5-8mins (do not add salt as the soy sauce should salt the meal enough).
    7. Depending on how thick your duck breasts are, you may want to cook them for less or more time. The texture of the breasts should be firm, yet tender and spring back slightly. If you’re unsure, take the breasts out and let them sit for 2mins before cutting and checking it’s slightly pink in the middle. If it’s too rare pop it back in the pan for a few mins. You could also check the internal temperature is around 55-60°C for medium-rare. Once the breasts are removed from the pan, allow them to rest and finish the sauce.
    8. Increase the heat and add 100ml water to the sauce in the pan. Cook on high heat for 3-5 mins or until the water has reduced down and the sauce is thickened. Taste for seasoning, add a pinch of salt if necessary.
    9. Keep the sauce aside and drizzle as desired.
    10. Enjoy the duck with cauliflower mash and steamed green vegetables.
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