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Roast Duck with Orange and Chilli

For something a little different the recipe this week is one of our favourites, roast duck legs are easy to prepare and super delicious. We use fennel and celery in this dish rather than onion because they work exceptionally well with oranges and duck.

Time – preparation ½ hour, cooking time 1 ½ hours. Serves 2


  • 2 duck legs
  • 1 medium / large fennel bulb sliced or medium diced
  • 2 celery sticks chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 tblsp flour
  • 1 small orange washed and chopped into small pieces, skin on
  • 2 long red chillis
  • 500ml Orange juice


  1. Preheat oven to 200C
  2. Brown the duck legs in a frying pan, start with a cold pan and heat (medium temp) to render the fat and brown the skin. Approx. 12-15 minutes on skin side then brown other side for approx. 3 minutes
  3. Place 2 large chillis in a casserole dish – cast iron is best
  4. Place browned duck legs, skin side up, on top of chilis
  5. Pour off all but about 2 tblsp of the rendered duck fat
  6. Add garlic, fennel and celery to frying pan, sauté in the duck fat on medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes
  7. Sprinkle with the flour
  8. Sauté for approx. 3 more minutes
  9. Add 400ml of orange juice, reserve rest of juice to add later if needed
  10. Add salt & pepper to taste
  11. Bring to a simmer and add orange pieces
  12. Pour over the duck
  13. Put lid on casserole and cook for 1 hour
  14. Remove lid, check if more orange juice is needed
  15. Ensure duck is skin side up with no ingredients on top so the skin will crisp during final cooking time
  16. Leave lid off and return to oven for another ½ hour so the sauce reduces and duck crisps nicely
  17. Ideally serve with potatoes sautéed in duck fat and a green of your choice (beans etc)

Tip – try cooking the beans (or other greens) in chicken stock seasoned with salt & pepper and a slice of butter to add flavour and richness.

I have been writing a regular wine column for The Nelson Mail newspaper since 2000.

Unfortunately the column space is not big enough to include my thoughts on all of the many wines I taste. Hopefully this blog will fix that. It also gives me somewhere to archive the many columns I write. I will also include some favourite recipes from my dearly beloved who loves cooking and of course because wine and food simply go together. I will also point you in the direction of upcoming events and websites I think are great. Enjoy, Neil

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