Francesco Zambrini published Libro di Cucina (Book of Cooking) for the first time in 1835 in Bologna. The book, written by an unknown Tuscan author, is a fourteenth-century manuscript. The book lists many Medieval recipes, including one for a roasted duck with orange.
Duck a l’Orange was a common dish at the court of the Medici, and it is believed that Caterina, the daughter of Lorenzo II, introduced the dish to France when she moved there.
Anatra all’Arancia – Tuscan Duck a l’Orange – (Duck with Orange)
4 oz (115 g) prosciutto, finely chopped
rind of 1 orange, finely chopped
2 + 1 oz (60 + 30 gr) butter
pinch of nutmeg
salt and black pepper
1 duck, cleaned and flamed
1/2 cup (120 cc) dry white wine
2 oranges, juiced, the rind very finely diced
1 lemon, juiced, the rind very finely diced
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, or other orange brandy
1 orange, sliced (for decoration)
In a bowl combine the prosciutto, rind of the 1 orange, 2 oz (60 gm) butter, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
Spread the mixture inside the duck.
Close the opening of the duck with kitchen rope. Season the duck rubbing the outside with salt and pepper.
Put the 1 oz (30 g) butter in a large skillet over low heat. As soon as the butter starts foaming, add the duck and brown evenly on all sides.
Turn heat to medium high, add the wine, and let the wine evaporate.
Add the orange juice, the rind of the 2 oranges, lemon juice, lemon rind, salt, and pepper.
Cover and cook on low heat for about 90 minutes, or until the duck is tender. Turn the duck once to cook it evenly on all sides. Add a small quantity of broth if necessary to prevent the duck from sticking to the pan.
Remove the duck from the skillet, transfer it to a serving plate, and keep it warm. Lower the heat, and add the orange liqueur to the skillet. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the cooking residues from the walls and bottom of the skillet. Filter the sauce through a fine strainer.
Decorate the duck with the orange slices, cover with the sauce, and serve warm.