Roast Duck with Orange and Soy Glaze

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I don’t cook duck too often but when I do, I like to go all out.

This roast duck recipe, however, is by far the most delicious one out of the one I have tried. I made a pretty good duck with cherry sauce, I made the classic one with butter and herbs. But this one takes the crown. The underlying taste of orange blends so well with the fermented soy sauce and whole cane sugar. It’s like an Asian twist on a roast duck so what’s not to love?

The best tasting duck needs to be the freshest. I would love to partake in delicious meat from a duck that was hunted down just a few hours before. I remember when my relatives would go hunting and bring us some fresh ducks and pheasants. Ah, how I wish they would start doing that again.

But I don’t have any hunter relatives and I cannot hunt myself. So I resort to the next best thing: a delicious pastured duck from my local health food store.

Duck has more fat than your regular chicken or turkey. This makes the color of a roast duck turn a deep rich brown and the flavor so much denser. The fat leftover in the pan is great for making gravy or sauteing potatoes. I like to turn it into a sauce that I then dribble over the duck slices. It’s absolutely amazing.

I usually prefer to eat poultry rather than red meats due to the better fat ratio of omega 6 fatty acid. But I feel there is nothing wrong with treating yourself to something different once in a while. I have never had any digestive issues after eating this roast duck so clearly, my body is fine with it.

Necessary equipment:

  • a large roasting pan
  • kitchen twine
  • a sharp knife
  • a large saucepan
  • a pastry brush
  • a cast iron skillet
  • a whisk
  • a ladle


  • one whole duck
  • butter for rubbing the duck
  • 2 sweet onions
  • salt and pepper to taste

orange glaze and pan reduction sauce:

  • 3 cups of orange juice
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup of whole cane sugar OR 1/3 cup of raw honey
  • 2 T. of sprouted flour OR arrowroot powder (how to make sprouted flour)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch-long piece of ginger
  • 2 T. of butter
  • 2 T. of dark orange liqueur (how to make orange liqueur)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Take out the giblets and neck from inside the duck. Set them aside to make a stock or gravy.
  3. Rinse the duck both inside and out very thoroughly. Pat it dry with a kitchen towel and place it on the roasting pan.
  4. Stuff the duck cavity with onions cut in half.
  5. Score the duck in a crosshatch pattern using a knife.
  6. Tuck the wings under the duck. Otherwise, they will burn too easily.
  7. Close the cavity using a toothpick or a bamboo pick.
  8. Use kitchen twine to tie the legs together.
  9. Rub the duck with butter and season it with salt and pepper.
  10. Roast in the oven for three hours.

Make the orange glaze:

  1. Combine the orange juice, soy sauce, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  2. Lower the heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes. The sauce should reduce in half.
  3. Place a lid on the saucepan and set aside.
  4. Transfer a few spoonfuls of the orange glaze into a separate bowl. Use them to brush the whole surface of the duck two or three times during the last hour of roasting.
  5. Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees and roast for additional 30 minutes. You will know the duck is ready when the skin turns brown and crispy-looking.
  6. Remove the duck from the oven and brush it one more time with the orange glaze.
  7. Let the duck rest for 20 minutes. This prevents the juices from running out of the duck when you first cut into it.
  8. Some of the juices should have already appeared on the pan while the duck was roasting. Transfer those juices into a separate bowl. This way, the fat will separate.

Make the pan reduction sauce:

  1. Take two tablespoons of duck pan from the bowl with roasting juices in it and put them in a heated skillet.
  2. Mince the garlic and grind the ginger. Saute both in duck fat in the skillet until browned.
  3. Sprinkle the flour in the skillet and whisk vigorously for about two minutes.
  4. Add the remaining orange glaze and continue stirring so that no lumps will form.
  5. Keep reducing the sauces until it has the right consistency. It should be thick and glossy.
  6. Remove the skillet from heat and add in the butter and orange liqueur. Keep stirring until the butter melts completely.
  7. Carve the duck and serve the slices with pan reduction sauce.


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