This Eastern interpretation of a classic French recipe, duck a l’orange, uses pigeon as the star protein, and coriander seeds, star anise and lemongrass as spices in the glaze.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (7 votes)


  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 450 g whole pigeon, cleaned
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp French butter
  • 125 ml (½ cup) water


  • 80 g gingerbread
  • 1 tbsp water


  • 2 tbsp orange blossom honey
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) red wine vinegar
  • 1 orange, juiced, plus ½ tsp finely grated orange rind
  • 1 tsp wild Madagascar peppercorns, dry-roasted and pounded
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, dry-roasted and pounded
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 lemongrass stalk


  • 100 g gingerbread
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 125 ml (½ cup) water
  • spring onions
  • 12 goji berries, soaked in 2 tbsp Grand Marnier

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.


Standing time 15 minutes

Preheat oven to 180°C. To prepare the garnish, crumble the gingerbread onto a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy and coloured.

Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil. Add the salt and blanch the pigeon for 2 minutes.  Remove and pat skin to dry.

To prepare stuffing, place gingerbread and water in a mixing bowl. Use hands to combine. Stuff into the pigeon cavity.

To make the glaze, place a saucepan on medium heat. Add honey and red wine vinegar and bring to the boil. Add orange juice, orange rind, spices and lemongrass. Stand to infuse for 15 minutes.

Heat an ovenproof saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter, then cook the pigeon for 2 minutes each side, basting with the melted butter, until skin is browned.

Remove the oil and butter from the pan. Brush the orange glaze all over the pigeon. Add the water to the pan, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, to prepare the spring onion for the garnish, place butter and water in a pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Add spring onions and cook for 2 minutes or until wilted.

Remove a spoonful of the stuffing from the pigeon, and arrange next to the bird on a plate. Assemble the spring onion to the side. Use the star anise, cinnamon and lemongrass as garnish, then drizzle the glaze over the pigeon and around the plate. Crumble the baked gingerbread around the plate and decorate with goji berries.