Sauce Bigarade

Orange Sauce for Duck

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    2 cups

Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About


Sauce Bigarade is named after the bitter Seville oranges that were first used to flavor duck à l’orange. Most recipes for this are integral sauces prepared from the braising liquid or pan drippings from a roasted duck. The sauce can also be prepared from reduced duck stock, gastrique, and orange zests.

Prepare a concentrated duck stock without liaison by reducing the stock to a lightly syrupy consistency. Alternatively, bind partially reduced stock with a starch liaison such as roux, cornstarch, or arrowroot, or with a hydrocolloid such as xanthan gum and/or Ultra-Sperse 3.

Reduce the juice of 4 oranges ( cups/300 milliliters) by half. Add 1 cup (250 milliliters) of the concentrated duck stock and reduce the sauce until it has a lightly syrupy consistency. Add 4 teaspoons (20 milliliters) gastrique to the sauce. Add the gastrique gradually, while tasting, to avoid adding too much. Strain the sauce through a fine chinois. Finish the sauce with 2 ounces (60 grams) butter and teaspoons (8 milliliters) julienned and blanched orange zest. The flavor of the sauce can be improved by adding 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 milliliters) Cognac. (A couple of drops of Grand Marnier do no harm either.)

Unthickened Method

A deeply flavored yet light duck broth can be prepared by lightly browning duck trimmings with aromatic vegetables and then moistening them with a previously made duck, chicken, or veal stock and simmering for 20 minutes. This method combines the advantages of long-simmered and short-simmered stocks: Long-simmered stocks provide body, whereas short-simmered ones provide flavor, character, and vitality. The finished duck broth should then be infused with the orange zest for 5 to 10 minutes and flavored with gastrique.


Make an infusion of orange by soaking some grated orange zests in Grand Marnier for a day or two. (To hurry things up, cook sous vide.) Strain out the zests and burn the alcohol off the Grand Marnier. Seal this orange infusion into spheres (see spherification) and stir the spheres into the Sauce Bigarade so the orange bursts in the mouth.