Duck a l’orange

Serves 4


4 duck breasts
1 tbsp butter
1 garlic clove crushed
200g spinach

For the sauce:
½ tbsp brown sugar
50ml white wine vinegar
250ml orange juice
250ml chicken stock
segments of 2 oranges
zest of 1 orange
segments of 2 oranges
50ml Grand Marnier


Trim the duck breasts to remove any excess fat and score the skin with a diamond pattern

To make the sauce, put the sugar and vinegar into a saucepan, bring to the boil and reduce until it begins to caramelise. Add the orange juice, reduce down to one third and add the chicken stock. Leave to simmer. 

Turn on the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Season the duck breast with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a dry frying pan over a high heat and add the duck breasts, skin side down. Cook until the skin is golden, turn the breasts over and cook for a further 30 seconds. Transfer to the oven and cook for 4-5 minutes, depending on size. When the duck is cooked, remove it from the oven and leave to rest - skin side up.

Deglaze the duck pan using the Grand Marnier and add the resulting liquid to the orange sauce. Be careful as the alcohol may flame up. 

Heat the butter in a fresh pan and add the garlic and spinach. Season and cook until the spinach wilts. 

Now add the orange zest to the orange sauce and simmer for a minute or so. 

Put the orange segments into the sauce and gently poach for 15 seconds. Place the duck on top of the spinach and then the orange segments around the duck. Pour the sauce around the plate.


In this iconic dish duck is combined with orange for a reason, the orange fruit provides four essential flavours for the digestion of rich duck meat, sour, bitter, aromatic and sweet.

Sour comes from the juice and the zest and stimulates the gall bladder to help cut through the fat; an action aided by the vinegar. Sweet is also in the juice and nourishes digestive and symbiotic strength, helped by the addition of a small amount of sugar. Bitter is in the pith and the zest and stimulates motility to keep the rich meat moving through the gut. Finally aromatic oils come from the zest, together with the cloves and the Grand Marnier.


The beauty of this dish is its simplicity, so we don’t want to meddle with it too much! But if your digestion needs a little help, and especially if your stomach is feeling sensitive, then ginger combines wonderfully with citrus, adding extra aromatic depth to the dish.