Chinese takeout it's not. The marriage of duck and oranges is a happy one, dating from the early 1800s. The sweetness of the citrus in this duck à l'orange plays up the poultry's earthy, almost nutty flavor, while the fruit's acidity cuts the richness of the meat.

This recipe is part of our meal celebrating winter's tastiest fruit.

Servings: Serves 4
  • 1 (5- to 6-pound) Peking duck
  • 2 medium oranges , preferably organic
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup strong chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup port or Madeira
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bunch rosemary or thyme
  • Lemon juice , to taste (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter , cut into pieces
  • Homemade potato chips , for serving | Get Julia Child's recipe!
  • Directions
    Bring 2 1/2 to 4 quarts salted water to boil in a large (preferably narrow) stockpot. Remove fat from interior of duck, cut off wing tips, and prick skin all over with fork (taking care not to pierce the meat). Submerge duck and wing tips in water; simmer for 45 minutes. Drain.

    Pare peel from oranges and julienne it: You will need 1/2 cup for the sauce and 1 tablespoon to stuff in duck. Remove pith from oranges; cut into 1/4-inch wedges.

    Bring vinegar, sugar, and 1 tablespoon water to a boil in a pan over high heat, taking care not to burn mixture. Cook, stirring, until thickened into a syrup, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock. Simmer 1 minute, stirring. Add remaining stock, port, and 1/2 cup orange peel. Simmer until reduced by a third, 8 to 10 minutes.

    Preheat oven to 500°. Season duck cavity with salt and pepper; add 1 tablespoon orange peel, several sprigs of rosemary (or thyme), and 2 orange wedges. Place in a pan with a roasting rack, and cook until skin is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

    Reheat sauce, and taste; if too sweet, add lemon juice. Remove from stove and swirl in butter to thicken.

    Transfer duck to a platter; decorate with remaining orange wedges and herb sprigs. Serve with potato chips and sauce.


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