Duck a l’Orange

Duck a l’Orange

Duck a l'orange


Strictly speaking this isn’t a classic Duck a l’Orange. I don’t think I’d ever eaten one as I have visions of it being overly sweet and orangery like a lemon chicken from the Chinese is. How wrong I was. The sauce is very simple to make but if you can make your own chicken stock the final sauce will taste even better.

The reason this dish came together is we were debating falafels. How to make the most original ones. The end result being that you need fava (broad) beans. Plus you have to make them from dried pulses. Quite simply if you use tinned, your mix will be too wet and will explode on cooking. Falafels pair very nicely with sweet sauces, sweet chilli sauce being the best. Hence, I wanted to construct a main dish with the falafels. There aren’t many main dishes which can be created around a sweet sauce, but duck lends itself to these very well.

I’ve used the most basic recipe for these, if you want to add extra spices to your liking feel free. The benefit also of making these falafels is that you end up with too many soaked beans, so I made a fava bean hummus with the extras. [purerecipe]



  • 300g, soaked overnight in cold water Dried Split Fava Beans
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 5 Cloves Garlic
  • 30g leaves Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1 Heaped Tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsps Black Pepper
  • Bigarade (Orange) Sauce

  • 500ml Chicken Stock
  • Juice of two large Oranges
  • Juice of 1. Lemon
  • 75g Sugar
  • 75ml Red Wine Vinegar
  • 4 Breasts Duck
  • 3 Large Carrots
  • 3 Small per person. Fondant Potatoes


  1. Lightly salt the skin of the duck. Wrap in greaseproof paper and place back in the fridge until needed.
  2. For the falafels. Using half of the soaked beans, reserve 3 tablespoons of them. Add the remaining ingredients and blend as best you can. If the mix is too stiff add a little oil and water until it comes together. Once you have a nice puree, add the reserved 3 Tbsp of beans and pulse. You want to leave some whole to create a crunchy texture. Shape these into golf balls or patties. Reserve until ready to cook.
  3. For the sauce, heat the sugar and red wine vinegar together until it becomes sticky. Add the juice of the citrus followed by the chicken stock. Boil until reduced by half. Add a good knob of butter. It can be served like this and will taste best, but if you would like a thicker consistency add some cornflour.
  4. For the carrots, cut them on the diagonal into large chunks. Cover with water, a good pinch of salt and sugar. Bring to the boil, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. To cook the falafels, best results come from deep frying unfortunately. We found cooking at 170°c for 8 minutes gave the best results of a good crust with the middles cooked and fluffy. These can be made ahead if you wish and reheated in the oven.
  6. For the duck. Pat dry the skin. Place in a cold pan skin side down. Put on a medium heat and cook for 5-6 minutes to render the fat. Keep pouring it off as it fills the pan. Turn the heat up to high and cook for three minutes. Flip and cook for 1 minute, flip 3 minutes on the skin, final flip and 1 minute on flesh side. Let it stand for 5 minutes before slicing.
  7. For the fondant potatoes follow the link.


  1. Perfect timing. We took my in-laws to a restaurant today for my mother-in-law’s 89th birthday. My father-in-law ordered confit duck leg and all through the meal he said, “This is tough and stringy – I wish they’d had canard à l’orange instead.

    I’ll make this for him and he’ll be a happy man.

  2. I so need to try these split bean falafels – and that accompanying sauce sounds marvelous!

    • Dave Crichton

      They’re dead easy to make Shashi. Just a little bit of thinking ahead. They’re good running food too!

  3. Your posts totally reminded me of two duck confit drum sticks I have in the freezer, a left over from a photo shoot! I love duck and it’s riches definitely goes so well with the orange flavour. Your plating is beautiful and the duck is perfectly done.

  4. Falafels can be tricky. I’ve had more bad ones than I care to remember. I don’t make them too often for the whole ordeal of frying but the last time I did, they cam out quite nice. These look authentic though, with the lava beans. Lovely plate as usual and that sauce sounds wonderful!

  5. Love that little orange sauce with the vinegar. Delicious!

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