Growing up in France, Gui Alinat, certified executive chef (CEC),
remembers having canard à l’orange (duck with orange sauce) for
special occasions. The dish, although a staple in classic French cuisine,
was one of those iconic dishes you hear about but rarely see, Alinat
says, noting that duck is uncommon in many regions of France. With the
holidays approaching, we called on Alinat, a chef, food blogger and
culinary instructor at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute
of Tampa and Jacobson Culinary Arts Academy in Tarpon Springs, Fla.,
and Jordan Guevara, a 16-year-old from Jacobson, to demonstrate the
dish, two ways.
Two versions of canard à l’orange can be found in Auguste Escoffier’s
Le Guide Culinaire: braised and roasted. For the classical recipe
demonstrated here, the duck is braised and served with julienned
oranges and lemons, potatoes and onions. In the modern version, it is
cooked using the sous-vide method, and is served with potatoes, carrots,
asparagus, orange confit gellan and beets. In both recipes, gastrique
sauce is drizzled over the duck. “I think the essence of canard à l’orange
is the contrast in the fat/meat/fruit pairing,” Alinat notes.
According to Alinat, the dish gained popularity in the French bourgeoisie,
and became a staple in traditional French cuisine over the years. Julia
Child was instrumental in popularizing the dish in America.
Until recently, Guevara
had not even heard of canard à
l’orange, let alone prepared it.
First, Brett Gardiner, executive
chef at Hapa, Oldsmar, Fla.,
where Guevara works part-time,
demonstrated the restaurant’s
popular roasted version. Then,
Alinat, Guevara’s chef-instructor
at Jacobson Culinary Arts
Academy, demonstrated a braised
version. After thorough research,
it was Guevara’s turn to cook.
“Canard à l’orange is such an
admirable dish,” he says. “The
techniques used are not complex,
and are fairly easy to master. The
flavor contrasts are divine, and
the dish has a homey feel.”
Students who prepare this dish
will learn many techniques,
Guevara says, such as braising,
caramelizing, the tourné cut
and how to make a gastrique
sauce. He had success with the
dish his first time preparing
it, which he attributes to
the demonstrations and the
research he put into the dish
before turning on any burners.
“I would caution fellow students
to watch their timing and the
temperature of the duck,” he
says. “You can really lose track of
time on this dish. Also, make sure
your tournéed potatoes are as
5. For pommes cocotte, tourné
potatoes 2 inches long. Blanch. Sauté.
Reserve. Glaze onions à brun. Reserve.
6. When fully cooked, reserve duck.
Rest duck for at least 15-20 minutes.
7. Reduce fonds de braisage
(mirepoix/wine/stock mixture). For
gastrique sauce, make light caramel
with remaining sugar and vinegar.
Add orange juice. Add to fonds de
braisage. Reduce until sauce is à la
nappe. To finish, salt and pepper to
taste; check consistency and flavor.
To plate: Place duck in middle of large
platter. Coat with gastrique sauce;
decorate with orange and lemon
julienne. Place pommes cocotte and
onions as garnish. Decorate platter
with half-slices of orange.
Canard à l'orange
Jacobson Culinary Arts Academy
Tarpon Springs, Fla.
Yield: 6 servings
1 Pekin duck, excess fat removed
(reserve for searing)
4. Julienne 2 zested oranges and
lemon. Blanch twice. Create simple
syrup by cooking 1 cup sugar and
water until clear; boil for 1 minute.
Confit orange/lemon in simple syrup.
Cut half-slices of remaining orange;
reserve for garnish.
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 oranges, divided
18 oz. mirepoix
2 cups white wine
4 quarts brown duck stock
1 ²/³ cups sugar, divided
1 cup water
7 Yukon gold potatoes
10 oz. pearl onions
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 cup orange juice
1. Salt and pepper duck; place zest
of 2 oranges in back cavity. Truss
duck with butcher’s twine. Sear in
duck fat. Reserve.
2. Sauté mirepoix. Deglaze with
white wine. Reduce. Add duck stock.
3. Braise duck for 45 minutes.
remarkable as possible. Watch the
caramel and orange julienne when
blanching, because things can go
wrong in the blink of an eye.”
Read Guevara’s blog at