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Orange Stuffed Christmas Duck

Embrace the spirit of the festive season with a culinary masterpiece that's sure to impress: a succulent, orange-stuffed duck. This exquisite recipe elevates the traditional holiday fare to a new level of flavor and elegance, making it a perfect centerpiece for your Christmas Eve feast or as a standout addition to a larger Christmas meal. Ideal for those special occasions when you want to create something extraordinary, this dish combines the rich, tender meat of oven-roasted duck with the citrusy sweetness of oranges, promising a memorable dining experience. With its blend of classic tastes and gourmet finesse, this orange-stuffed duck is more than just a meal; it's a festive celebration on a plate, bringing warmth and joy to your holiday gatherings.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 small mallard duck (approx. 1.25kg or 2lb 12oz) (double up on ingredients if using a larger whole duck)
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 tsp light brown soft sugar
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp orange liqueur
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 200ml high-quality chicken broth
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 50g watercress (for garnish)
  • 200g baby leaf spinach


Step 1: Preheat the oven to 160C (140C fan-assisted or gas mark 3). Place the duck on a rack above a roasting tin. Prick the skin, season well, and add juice and halves of one orange into the cavity and tin. Add 100ml water to the tin. Roast for 20 mins per 500g (approximately 50 mins if using smaller mallard), then increase heat to 220C (200C fan-assisted or gas mark 7) for 20 mins for a crispy, golden skin.

Step 2: Boil water in a small pan. Pare the zest from the second orange, remove pith, and boil for 8-10 mins. Drain and cut into strips. In the same pan, mix brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, juice of the pared orange, and orange liqueur. Heat until reduced by half and syrupy, then add orange zest.

Step 3: After cooking the duck, wrap it in foil to rest. Remove fat from the roasting tin. Pour remaining juices into a saucepan, add broth, and bring to boil. Add wine, simmer for 2-3 mins, then add half the orange sauce. Mix cornflour with cold water, add to gravy, season, and add butter. Whisk and transfer to a gravy jug.

Step 4: Brush duck with remaining orange glaze. Garnish with watercress. In a pan, melt butter, add spinach, cook until wilted, season, and serve alongside the duck.