Chilli Orange Duck

Here is a nice twist on duck a l’orange - aromatic, crisp-skinned duck in a sticky, sweet and spicy citrus syrup that glows on the plate.


  • 2-3 oranges
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 small red chilli, finely sliced
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar, or other wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp red wine or port
  • 4 duck breasts, around 200 g each
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed


Scrub the oranges well. Cut the rind from 2 oranges, using a sharp knife, and trim off most of the pith. Cut the rind into short, thin strips. Squeeze the juice from the oranges - you need 250ml.

Combine the orange rind and juice, sugar, ginger, chilli, star anise, cinnamon sticks, sweet chilli sauce, fish sauce, vinegar and red wine in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring. Boil for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly syrupy.

Prick the duck skin well, and heat the oil in a non-stick fry pan. Add the duck breasts and sear, skin-side down, for 8 minutes until browned, then turn and cook for another 8 minutes. Rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Cut the spring onions into finger lengths, then into strips. Slice the duck thickly, arrange on warmed plates and scatter with spring onion shreds. Spoon the sauce over the top, with the spices - for atmosphere, not for eating. Serve with rice or noodles.