Orange-stuffed Christmas duck

Orange-stuffed Christmas duck

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(7 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr, 30 mins

More effort

Serves 2

Duck with an orange glaze is an unbeatable combination, this mouthwatering main course is a festive feast for two

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal812
  • fat59g
  • saturates22g
  • carbs12g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre1g
  • protein38g
  • salt0.7g
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  • 1 small (1¼kg/ 2lb 12oz) oven-ready duck



    Rich and full of flavour, duck meat is extremely nutritious, with high levels of protein, B…

  • 2 oranges



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

  • 2 tsp light brown soft sugar
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
    Balsamic vinegar

    Balsamic vinegar

    bal-sam-ick vin-ee-gah

    True Balsamic vinegar is an artisan product from Modena, in Emilia Romagna, Italy, and is made…

  • 2 tbsp Grand Marnier
  • 1 tbsp butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 200ml good-quality chicken stock
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 50g watercress, to garnish



    With deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of…

  • 200g baby leaf spinach



    Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Put the duck on a rack set over a roasting tin and prick the skin all over with a skewer. Season well. Halve one of the oranges and squeeze some of the juice into the duck cavity and the tin, then stuff the cavity with both of the halves. Pour 100ml water into the tin and roast for 20 mins per 500g (about 50 mins). Turn the oven up to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7 and roast for another 20 mins until the duck skin is crispy and golden.

  2. Put a small pan of water on to boil. Using a peeler, pare the zest from the remaining orange. Scrape any pith off the zest using a small, sharp knife. Add the zest to the water and gently boil for 8-10 mins, then drain, slice thinly into strips and set aside. In the same pan, dissolve the brown sugar with the balsamic vinegar. Cut the pared orange in half, juice it and pour the juice into the pan. Add the Grand Marnier and 1 tsp butter. Bubble until it has reduced by half and is dark and syrupy. Remove from the heat and stir in the orange zest.

  3. Once the duck is cooked, wrap it in foil to keep warm and put it on a board to rest. Spoon off the fat from the roasting tin and discard. Pour any remaining duck juices into a wide, shallow saucepan. Tip in the stock and bring to the boil. Add the wine and simmer for 2-3 mins, then add half the orange sauce and stir well. In a small bowl, mix the cornflour with 2 tsp cold water, then stir into the gravy. Season, add 1 tsp butter and whisk together. Pour into a warm gravy jug.

  4. To serve, brush the remaining sticky orange glaze over the duck, then put the duck on a board and garnish with the watercress. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add 1 tsp butter. Once the butter has melted, tip in the spinach and cook for 1-2 mins until it has wilted. Season and tip into a warm serving dish.

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Comments, questions and tips

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1st Jan, 2017
Turned out absolutely amazing!
pandorcia's picture
19th Jan, 2016
It was my first ever time preparing a whole duck, so I was unsure how it would turn out. Especially since it was going to be a main course for Christmas! But it turned out to be absolutely delicious :) I added more juice inside the duck's cavity (I basically filled it all the way up with juice), and covered the whole bird with orange slices after rubbing it with the stock cube and olive oil paste. It then rested for a night in the fridge. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly :)
Hannah Twyford's picture
Hannah Twyford
25th Dec, 2019
My experience was exactly the same! Very first time preparing a big main course for Christmas dinner and this recipe was straightforward to follow and turned out AMAZING. I followed the recipe exactly, didn't make any changes.
pursuitcooking's picture
16th Nov, 2015
This looks really really good, maybe a bit of an expensive dinner but for a special evening like Christmas this can be perfect. The way that you guys write your recipes is really pleasurable detailed and storytelling wise. Definitely the best way to do it we from Pursuit Cooking might be able to learn something from you guys. For the time being we just like to thank you for this beautiful recipe and let you know that we will be following your cooking and that this duck is definitely added to the possible Christmas dinners. Have a very nice day and when interested in our cooking and reviews have a look at:
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