This is a dish best planned in advance, as it requires 2 days of marinading to give the duck the most intense orange flavour and such incredible tenderness. Well worth the while!






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (25 votes)


  • 100 g fine salt
  • 100 ml vinegar
  • 1.8-2 kg free-range duck
  • 1 leek, pale part only, washed and thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp black Chinese vinegar
  • 125 ml Cointreau
  • 250 ml (1 cup) hot water
  • 3 tsp cornflour mixed with a little water
  • 2 tbsp marmalade
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and black pepper, to taste


  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp juniper berries
  • 1 tsp allspice berries
  • 1 tsp Sichuan pepper
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • pinch whole cloves
  • 30 g sea salt flakes
  • 1 orange or 2 mandarins

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


This recipe needs to be started 2 days in advance

Resting time: 20 minutes

Marinating time: 48 hours

  1. Place 3 litres water, the fine salt and the vinegar in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Rinse the duck under cold running water and pat dry with paper towel. Add the duck to the boiling water and turn to roll the duck in the water to tighten and set the skin. Remove, drain well and place, breast-side up on a wire rack over a tray to cool. Refrigerate for 2 days, uncovered, to dry the skin.
  2. Once the duck has finished drying, preheat the oven to 240°C.
  3. For the stuffing, grind all the spices and the sea salt flakes together in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Place the orange or mandarins into a food processor and blitz into a puree. Add the ground spices and combine well. Spoon the orange mixture into the duck cavity and seal the cavity with a stainless steel or bamboo skewer.
  4. Place the leek, carrot, garlic and sliced orange in the bottom of a deep flame-proof roasting dish. Place the duck on a wire rack and place over the vegetables. Combine the soy sauce, sesame oil and vinegar in a small bowl and brush all over the duck skin. Reduce the oven temperature to 220°C and roast the duck for 25 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C and roast for another further 45 minutes or until deep golden and crisp.
  5. Once cooked, remove the duck from the oven and rest for at least 20 minutes. Drain the excess fat from the pan but reserve any of the juices.  Remove the skewer from the duck and pour the juices and fat from the cavity back into a bowl to use for the sauce.  
  6. For the sauce, place the roasting dish over high heat and brown the vegetables thoroughly if they don’t have enough colour already. Add the Cointreau and the reserved duck juices and cook quickly for 2 minutes. Add the hot water and simmer for 5 minutes. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve into a small saucepan, pressing on the solids to extract as much flavour and liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Place the saucepan over low heat and whisk in the cornflour mixture. Whisk until the mixture thickens, then stir in the marmalade and red wine vinegar. Season to taste.
  7. Carve the duck and serve the sauce over the top. 


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.