Magret à l’Orange


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      50 min

Appears in

The French Market

The French Market

By Joanne Harris and Fran Warde

Published 2005

  • About

This is a summery version of the old classic, using chilli and fennel to spice up a sweet vegetable salad. Duck breasts should never be overcooked (I prefer mine to be just seared, so that the fat is crisp and sizzling); and in this case, the dish is best left to cool for a few minutes, to allow the flavours time to develop.


  • 3 duck breasts
  • zest and juice of 2 unwaxed oranges
  • 2 hot chillies, diced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 head fennel
  • 3 carrots
  • 4 sticks of celery
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


    Using a sharp knife, score the skin of each duck breast in a close criss-cross pattern. Put the orange zest and juice, chillies and half the oil in a bowl, add the duck breasts, coat them with the marinade, cover and leave for 1 hour.

    Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan. Take the duck from the marinade (keep the marinade) and put it into the pan, skin-side down. Fry for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and continue to cook until golden (about 8 minutes). Turn the magrets over and cook for a further 6 minutes for rare, or 10 minutes for medium. Remove from the pan and leave to rest for 4 minutes. Pour the marinade into the pan and gently bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat and place on one side. Carve each breast into thin slices.

    Trim and cut the fennel, carrots, celery and pepper into thin even-sized lengths. Crush, peel and chop the garlic. Add the vegetables and garlic to the warm marinade, season and toss well. Pile the salad onto serving plates and top with the sliced duck.