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Honey-Orange Roasted Duck + roasting a duck for the first time!

Updated: Jun 17

Fresh citrus gives this duck a vibrant flavor! The sweet glaze of orange, white wine and honey help to balance out the richness of the meat. The sauce helps to add extra depth of flavor!

Confessions… #1-I have never tried or made duck before…today! #2-I’m not a big dark meat fan. #3-I made some ROOKIE MISTAKES with this recipe!

I first spotted the recipe for Duck à L’Orange form my one of my favorite food bloggers, Sam Linsell of Drizzle and Dip. I had never tried duck before but her recipe made me want to!

It just so happens that my neighbor Laura raises ducks for meat and eggs! She also raises meat rabbits, sheep, meat chickens, and egg-laying chickens. I’ll also confess that eating duck and rabbit seemed a little strange to me. However, all that is changing now that I met Laura and am learning how good these meats are for you, especially when mindfully raised on pasture as Laura does!

Laura’s farm is called Horseradish Ranch. She is one of the hardest working women I know…she is inspiring! She also works very hard to make sure she is raising her animals with care, using organic and sustainable practices, and she is super knowledgable! Read more about her farm and where to purchase her products on her website! We are blessed to have Laura and her partner Brian (he’s awesome as well!) as our neighbors!

I am thankful for all that Laura has taught me and for providing us with healthy meats, like this duck! Even though I’m not a big fan of dark meat this meat was moist and tasty! I definitely made some rookie mistakes when making this recipe that makes me want to try it again but even my husband said it was “very enjoyable”.

ROOKIE MISTAKES… #1-Not drying and scoring (remembered to do this when it was already in the oven) the duck to brown faster! #2-Oversalting the duck (got a little carried away with the coarse sea salt;)). #3-Cooking too hot for too long (see recipe notes). #4-Not pouring the fat out of the drippings for the sauce…too fatty.

I hope you will be able to learn from my mistakes in this recipe and take a step on the wild side if you have never tried duck before! If you have tried duck before and have any cooking pointers I would love to hear from you!

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. -American Proverb

Extra marmalade added on top of duck after cooking for photo purposes.

Honey-Orange Roasted Duck {Paleo, GF, DF}

Fresh citrus gives this duck a vibrant flavor! Moist dark meat makes this bird a favorite treat for those of you who partial to it! The sauce helps to add extra flavor and richness! Please refer to recipe notes in this recipe…learn from my mistakes:)!

Course: Main Course

Keyword: Dairy Free, Duck, Gluten Free, orange, orange marmalade, Paleo, roasted duck

Author: Alicia Raymond


  1. 1 whole duck

  2. virgin unrefined coconut oil

  3. sea salt & pepper

  4. 1 small orange, cut into 8 pieces

  5. 1 bunch fresh thyme stems

  6. 1 whole orange

  7. 2 cloves garlic

Honey-Orange Glaze

  1. 1/4 cup orange marmalade/jam, preferably organic and fruit-sweetened

  2. 1/4 cup white wine (optional…sub with a bit of water to thin out marmalade)

  3. 1 tbsp honey


Start by getting ingredients ready for roasting duck..clean and dry thyme, place salt and pepper in a small dish, 8 orange pieces ready, and a large spoonful of coconut oil ready.

Remove all gizzards from the duck. Rinse duck, cavity and all. Place in stove-safe roasting pan. Pat dry thoroughly w/ paper towels or clean kitchen towel.

Score the fat of the duck with a sharp paring knife, being careful not to score the meat.

Rub duck all over, inside and out with coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste (don’t over-do it as I did;)), and place orange pieces inside of the cavity of the duck. If they all don’t fit (like mine didn’t) place them under and around the duck. Place bunch of thyme in the cavity. You can also place some on top of the bird.

While your duck is in the oven heat marmalade, white wine/water and honey together in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring mixture a low boil, stir and cook until ingredients are incorporated and you have a smooth mixture.

Zest half your orange, for the glaze, and juice the whole orange into a bowl, set aside. Chop garlic, set aside for the sauce later.

Roast duck for 15-40 minutes* @ 425 Fahrenheit until golden brown. Turn oven down to 350 Fahrenheit and continue cooking for another 20 minutes to an hour and 20 minutes (I know this seems like a large range-please see notes*).

10 minutes before you think duck is going to be done (duck is done when juices run pale yellow from fattiest part of thigh or drumstick or a faint rose color if prefer medium-rare) apply 3/4 of glaze to top of duck, leaving remaining 1/4 glaze in saucepan. My juices were pretty clear when I checked before applying the glaze.

Place duck back in 350-degree oven and cook for another 10 minutes with glaze.

Remove duck from oven and place on platter. Let rest for 20 minutes.

To make the sauce**…place roasting pan on the stove (stove-safe roasting pan) on the burner on medium heat (recommend pouring off fat to a bowl first**, leaving a bit of liquid behind; however, have not tried this). Add garlic and cook a minute or so, being careful not to burn, scraping up pan juices as you go. Add orange juice and zest, continuing to scrape up pan juices. Continue to cook until all bits are scraped up.

Pour contents of roasting pan into a saucepan with glaze. Bring this to a low boil and boil until thickened (should be able to plainly see the bottom of the pan when stirring and lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon).

Place sauce in a small bowl. My sauce ended up being a little too fatty so I placed my sauce in the fridge and let the fat harden (I used the fat to roast the potatoes:)). Then re-heat the sauce in small saucepan. This sauce is pretty strong so you could also add some chicken stock. If you add chicken stock you would need to re-thicken over a low boil.

To carve the duck you may want to use clean kitchen shears and cut right through the bone. My husband had to use his manly muscles to tear apart! Duck likes to stick to the bone so carving is a bit more challenging.

Served the carved duck with the sauce and your favorite side (potatoes recommended!). ENJOY!


*Rookie mistake of mine: DRY THE BIRD! I did not do this and I believe this is why my bird took so long to brown (40 minutes for me). You want the duck dry so the skin gets brown and crispy. I also forgot to score the duck until it had already been cooking. Scoring helps with browning (see why here). If you dry the duck and score it, it should take less time at the higher temperature (ideally about 20 min) before it browns, and then longer at the lower temp (mine only took 20 more minutes plus the 10 for the glaze at the lower temp). My bird turned out tough, and I believe this is because I cooked it too long at the higher temperature. It was, however, still moist and tasty…so don’t worry if yours takes longer to brown. Cooking times also depend on the size of your duck. Mine was on the smaller side. **Next time I would follow Sam’s instructions (see source below) to pour out the fat first and add chicken broth to mellow out the flavors. Recipe adapted from Sam Linsell’s blog Drizzle and Dip, How to Make Duck à L’orangeTesting doneness resource:

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