">Smoked Duck a l'Orange | French Recipes | Our Modern Kitchen Smoked Duck a l'Orange | French Recipes | Our Modern Kitchen Print

Frankly, Duck à l’Orange is pretty old hat. A tired stereotype served in aging bistros the world over. And it’s such a shame because it comes from a place of such greatness – beautiful duck with a rich, unctuously sweet sauce. By hot smoking the duck breast we’ve given a new dimension to this classic dish in the hope that we can bring it back to its past glory.



4 Duck Breasts

150g Soft Brown Sugar

150g Fine Sea Salt

2 tbsp. Herbes de Provence

1 tbsp. Finely Ground Pepper

1 Large Orange

2 Shallots, sliced

75ml Cointreau

75ml Red Wine

150ml Orange Juice

3 tbsp. Orange Marmalade

1 Large Bunch of Thyme

1 Small Bunch of Chives, diced

Generous Pinch of Salt and Pepper



1. Using a sharp knife, score the the skin of the duck breast in a criss-cross pattern taking great care not to cut the meat.

2. Combine the sugar, salt, pepper, and herbes de provence until evenly mixed.

3. Add half the mixture to a large pan and then lay the scored duck breasts skin-side down before covering with the rest of the mixture. Ideally, leave the duck to cure over night, but 1 hour as a bare minimum.


1. Prepare your smoker adding a generous scattering of wood chips, I used oak, and set over a low heat and wait until they start to smoke.

2. Meanwhile, rinse the duck breasts of the curing mixture and pat dry.

3. Once the wood chips are smoking, add the duck breasts in, skin-side up, and cover. Leave the breasts to smoke for 20 minutes until golden brown on the outside but still blushing once cut.

4. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before portioning.


1. Place a large pan over a medium-high heat with a generous lug of olive oil. Add the shallots and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until starting to colour. Turn the heat up to high and pour in the wine and the Cointreau. Cook until the liquid is reduced by two thirds, stirring occasionally to prevent the onions catching on the bottom of the pan.

2. Pour in the orange juice along with the Thyme and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by half. Pass the sauce through a sieve and into another pan. Discard the contents of the sieve.

3. Shortly before serving, warm the sauce through and season to taste. Finally, whisk in the orange marmalade and a knob of butter and serve immediately.

4. To serve, slice the duck breasts into 1cm slices before adding a swirl of the glossy sauce to a plate followed by the sliced duck breast. Add a a few gratings of orange zest along with orange segments, charred quickly in a very hot pan and finally a dusting of chives. Serve immediately.

5. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, why not also add one of our Duck a l’orange Bon Bons for extra duck a ‘l’orangeiness’.


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