Duck legs braised with Seville oranges

Duck legs braised with Seville oranges

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(7 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 20 mins


Serves 4
This spin on classic roast duck in orange sauce uses the more intense Seville variety to braise the meat

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal456
  • fat30g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs10g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre3g
  • protein34g
  • salt0.7g
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  • 4 duck legs
  • 1 tbsp mild olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 Seville oranges, washed and cut into slices



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 12 shallots, 8 left whole, the remainder chopped



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 1 medium carrot, cut into chunks



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 50ml dry white wine
  • 1 large thyme sprig


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 1 small rosemary sprig



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 25g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • pinch caster sugar
  • roast parsnips and steamed kale, to serve



    A member of the cabbage family, kale comes in two forms: kale, which has smooth leaves, and…


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Season the duck legs on both sides. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan set over a medium heat. Place the legs in the pan, skin-side down, and fry until well browned. Turn them over and brown the flesh side. Remove the pan from the heat and pour away most of the fat. Lay the orange slices in the bottom of a ceramic baking dish and top with the duck legs.

  2. Return the pan to the heat. Add the chopped shallots, celery and carrot, and fry, stirring, for 4 mins to allow the vegetables to brown a little. Add the wine, bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 mins. Add the herbs, garlic and chicken stock, mix everything together, then pour over the duck legs. Tuck the vegetable pieces in between the legs so they are submerged in the liquid. Add just enough water to almost cover the legs, then cook in the oven for 1 hr.

  3. Meanwhile, add half the butter to a frying pan set over a medium heat. Add the whole shallots and brown all over. After the duck has been in the oven for 1 hr, add the browned shallots and cook for a further 30 mins until tender. Remove the dish from the oven and transfer the legs to a baking tray. Lift out the whole shallots and put to one side. Strain the cooking liquid into a jug and skim off any fat or vegetable debris that comes to the surface.

  4. Increase oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Place the duck legs back in the oven and let them crisp for 10 mins while you finish the sauce. Boil the liquid in a large pan and reduce until you have about 300ml, then season to taste and add sugar, if necessary. Finally, add the remaining butter and stir to melt, before returning the shallots to the pan and gently reheating. Serve the legs on a bed of buttered kale, drizzling the light sauce around it, with roast parsnips on the side.

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Comments, questions and tips

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13th Dec, 2019
Made this for hubby's birthday and so worth it! I think it depends on the oranges u use, mine is not bitter at all. A tint of sweetness but definitely not overwhelming, goes really well with duck meat! A nice change from plums, will definitely make again!
29th Dec, 2016
One rarely sees Seville oranges used for 'Canard a l'Orange. However it is the correct way to make this dish. Many people won't eat it because they think it is sweet, which it is not meant to be. Nice to see someone doing it properly. It is also called Bigarade - another name for the dish.
2nd May, 2013
Cooked this whilst on holiday in a cottage. We hadn't been able to find duck breasts for the recipe I normally use. Used ordinary sweet oranges and I also had a little port for the other recipe so put that in as well. Everyone thought it was brilliant. Will definitely cook it again with the same oranges and port!
7th Apr, 2013
I can quite understand why some people found the sauce bitter - Seville oranges are bitter and usually used in marmalade. I have made this dish a few times now - I just used good navel oranges or any oranges that were in my fruit bowl. It is delicious - you don't even need to add the suggested pinch of sugar! Do try it with sweet oranges and I am sure you will enjoy - this dish to me deserves 5-stars.
25th Apr, 2012
I first made this recipe after my Feb issue of the mag was delivered and thought it was delicious - so did my husband. We enjoyed it so much I went to make it again but I couldn't find the the recipe so had to resort to looking for it on line - I was amazed to see the neg comments left for it. We didn't find the sauce at all bitter. So I'm off to make it again!
17th Feb, 2012
This was a seriously TERRIBLE recipe - I wish there was a zero star rating! Also made this as a pre-Valentine's treat. Lots of faffing around in the preparation (which I hoped would be worth it). The duck legs were cooked perfectly, but the sauce was AWFUL - so bitter that even when I added sugar, honey, blueberry syrup and raspberry syrup, it was close to unpalatable. I am an experienced and enthusiastic cook who loves to cook from Good Food Guide, so this was an awaul disappointment.
12th Feb, 2012
I cooked this as an early 'Valentine's meal' for myself and partner, and I would go as far as saying it ruined the meal! I am just relieved that I had made a starter and desert as well! I have cooked many recipes from this site and also from the magazine, and we have never had a such a disappointing recipe. This sauce was so bitter and extremely unpleasant. The duck was cooked perfectly, it is just a real shame that the sauce ruined the rest of the meal.
27th Jan, 2012
Sauce really bitter & unpleasant.
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