Anatra con arance (duck a l'orange) - Toscana
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
While duck a l'orange is usually associated with French cooking, the recipe has existed since the 15th century in Tuscany. Some scholars believe the dish may be Florentine in origin. Being an exceptionally tolerant and open-minded eater, I care not its origin so long as it is delicious. And it is! The tangy yet sweet orange sauce cuts through the fat of the luscious duck meat.
Traditionally in Tuscany, the duck is cut up and cooked in the orange. I roast the duck whole to have a more dramatic presentation. If your duck is a different size, use 30 minutes of roasting per kilo. Serve with mashed potatoes or boiled new potatoes.
Recipe type: Main Course (Secondo)
Cuisine: Toscana
Serves: 4
  1. Heat the oven to 225C (450F). Add a tray of water to the bottom of the oven. Season the duck inside and out with salt and pepper and prick the skin all over with a fork. Stuff the orange leaves inside the duck.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a metal roasting pan. When hot add the ducks and turn to brown all over.
  3. Place a rack on the bottom of the pan and place the duck breast down on top. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, zest one of the oranges. Juice two of the oranges. Segment the remaining two oranges.
  5. Place the sugar in a small sauce pan with 20 ml of water. Heat the sugar water together until the sugar dissolves.
  6. Continue cooking until the sugar caramelises to a golden brown colour. Swirl the pan around to ensure it browns evenly.
  7. Add the vinegar and the orange juice and cook until reduced by half.
  8. Add the stock, a pinch of salt and zest and cook until reduced and thick, about 15 minutes. Set aside until the duck is ready.
  9. Turn the duck over so it is breast side up and cook for another 15 minutes or until the 75C (165F) in the thickest part of the leg or breast. Remove from the oven and tent with a piece of foil. Let the duck rest for 20 minutes.
  10. While the duck is resting, reheat the orange juice combination and add the lemon juice, the segmented oranges and the butter. Stir to combine.
  11. Carve the duck and serve with the orange sauce.
Recipe by Living a Life in Colour at