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Julia Child’s Duck a l’Orange

August 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Julia Child!

One of the best cookbooks in my kitchen.  So many wonderful meals I have made from this book (as you can see).  I bought this book the year it was published so I guess I am lucky it is still in one piece.  So I toast Julia Child today, August 15, 2012.  She would have been 100!  Besides her books and TV programs her love and spirit in her kitchen still shines with me.

Duck a l’Orange


  • 4 Oranges
  • 1  5 1/2 lb. Duckling
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3 T. Sugar
  • 1/4 C. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 C. Brown Chicken Stock (using the duck giblets)
  • 2 T. Arrowroot
  • 3 T. Madeira (blend with the Arrowroot)
  • Blanched Orange Peel
  • 1/2 C. Madeira
  • 3 T. Grand Marnier
  • Few Drops of Orange Bitter or Lemon Juice
  • 2 T. Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • 1-2 Additional Oranges (for garnish)
  • Fresh Parsley (for garnish


  1. Remove the orange part of the peel in strips; julienne; simmer for 15 minutes in a qt. of water; drain and pat dry with paper towels
  2. Remove neck and gizzard for stock (allow about 2 hrs. to make the stock) (make day before)
  3. Dry the duck thoroughly and sprinkle the duck inside and out with salt and pepper.  Pierce the skin of the breast and legs with a fork or paring knife to help the fat to render out as it roasts
  4. Place duck breast up in the roasting on top of the vegetable; roast for 15 minutes
  5. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees; turn the duck on its side; remove accumulated fat occasionally with a bulb baster
  6. Approximately 30 minutes later; turn the duck on its other side
  7. Duck is done when the juices from the fattest part of the thigh run faintly rosy for medium rare; when juices run pale yellow duck is well done
  8. Fifteen minutes before duck is done; salt the duck and turn it breast side up
  9. Boil the sugar and vinegar over medium high heat for several minutes;remove from heat and pour 1/2 half of the duck stock and while stirring simmer for a minute
  10. Add the rest of the stock and beat in the arrowroot mixture; add the orange peel and simmer 3-4 minutes; when sauce is clear correct seasoning and set aside
  11. Cut the 4 oranges into skinless segments and place in a covered dish
  12. When the duck is finished; set it on a platter; keep in turned off oven with door ajar
  13. Remove as much fat as possible from the roasting pan; add the wine and boil it down rapidly, scraping up the roasting juices and reduce the liquid to approx. 2-3 T.
  14. Strain the wine reduction into the sauce base and bring to a simmer; stir in the Grand Marnier by spoonfuls; sauce will have pleasant orange flavor but not too sweet
  15. Add drops of orange bitter or lemon juice to correct flavor
  16. Just before serving and off heat; swirl in the butter and pour into a warmed gravy boat
  17. Place orange segments, fresh oranges and parsley on platter to garnish and spoon a little of the sauce with the peel over the duck

(Serves 2-4)

Recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Volume I) by Julia Child

Click on links below for other Julia Child recipes


Leek and Potato Soup

Veal Scallops with Mushroom and Cream

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2022 02:47

    This recipe appears to be missing some steps and some crucial information. You refer to an arrowroot mixture in step 10, but the arrowroot mixture appears nowhere else in the recipe. I didn’t notice this until we were already well underway, and I had to consult a different blog to get the information needed to complete the recipe. Will definitely be trying this again, but next time, straight from Julia.


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