Duck with Orange-Five Spice Sauce

for the duck:
1 5-6 lb duck
1/4 cara cara orange (1 large wedge)

dry rub:
2 tablespoons five spice powder
1 1/2 tablespoons orange peel*
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon sea salt

1 1/2 cup cara cara orange juice
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons shoaxing
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 325. In a small bowl, whisk together the dry rub. Rub the dry rub into the skin of the duck. Place the duck on a roasting rack on a roasting pan. Stick the orange quarter into the cavity of the duck and roast for 2 hours or until cooked though. Meanwhile, saute the onion and garlic in a small saucepan (using duck fat of a bit of olive oil) until softened. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Whisk in a bit of corn starch (dissolved in an equal amount of water) if it isn’t thick enough. Ladle over sliced duck.

*Powdered/ground peel, not zest.

My thoughts:

Duck a l’Orange is the American version of a classic French dish that hit its peak during the ’60s French cooking/home entertaining craze. While it still pops up on menus now and again, I thought it was time for an update. Five spice powder is one of my favorite spices, I’ve used it in both sweet and savory dishes and am always pleased with the savory-spicy flavor it gives anything it touches. I didn’t want to leave tradition entirely behind so I used some Cara Cara oranges, their sweet but complex fruitiness was the perfect foil for the rich duck and spices. This dish scarcely takes anymore effort than roasting a chicken but is immensely rewarding, the duck is juicy and generously spiced throughout and the sauce is almost gilding the lily.

Get the most out of your duck:
Save the carcass and make duck stock.

Siphon off any fat that drips into the roasting pan every 20-30. Pour it into a heat safe container. Allow to cool then strain it using a mine mesh strainer. Store it in the fridge until ready to use.


  1. Mmmm… I am salivating over this recipe – and it's only 8:30 in the morning! I can't wait to try this for myself! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ohhhh… thank you! This looks simple and very tasty!