Roast Duck with Red Wine, Orange, and Sage Sauce

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

This recipe could be Italian, from the province of Umbria, or it could be French, from Provence. The theme of olives, wine, and herbs is a Mediterranean classic. You can choose the country of origin with the accompaniments you serve with it.


  • 2 ducks, about 5 pounds each, necks and wing tips removed, excess fat removed, and rendered, if desired (see Note 3)
  • 2 orange halves
  • Fresh sage leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


    Preheat the oven to 500°F. Place the ducks on racks in shallow roasting pans. Place 1 orange half and a few sage leaves in the cavity of each duck. Sprinkle the ducks inside and out with salt and pepper and roast until tender, about 1 hour. Let stand until cool enough to handle.

    Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: Heat the butter in a large sauté pan over low heat. Add the onion, sage, and orange zest; cook until the onion is tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Put the wine and the stock in 2 medium saucepans and reduce each by one third over medium heat. Add both to the pan with the onion mixture and simmer over medium heat until the mixture is reduced by one third, about 20 minutes. Strain into a clean saucepan. Add the orange juice, heat to simmering, and simmer 5 minutes over low heat. Add the olives and simmer 2 minutes. Taste and add more orange or sage if you like. You will probably not need more salt because of the olives, but you may want to add the pinch of sugar if the sauce is too tart.

    Cut the ducks into quarters (or eighths, if you prefer) and warm in a 400°F oven for 5 minutes. Heat the sauce to simmering. Arrange 2 quarters on each of 4 serving plates and spoon the sauce over top.