Instant Pot Duck A l'Orange Recipe

Forget spending all day tending to a tough duck in the oven, trying to coax flavor from its unyielding flesh. With the Instant Pot, you can transform this bird into a restaurant-worthy masterpiece in under an hour.

According to Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table, pressure cookers like the Instant Pot allow you to turn a gamey fowl that would normally require hours of braising into a melt-in-your-mouth delicacy with ease. In this recipe for Instant Pot duck a l'orange, the magic of the multi-cooker yields incredibly moist, fall-off-the-bone duck in a sweet and tangy orange sauce. Though classic French cuisine often calls for complicated techniques, this simplified take on the bistro favorite uses the pressure cooking function to infuse flavor into the meat quickly.

With just a few easy steps like searing, pressure cooking, and broiling, you'll have a decadent duck dinner ready in no time. The rich sauce made right in the pot perfectly complements the tender poultry, taking it a step above our easy Instant Pot chicken recipe. Make this recipe on a special occasion to impress guests, or whip it up any night of the week for a satisfying family meal. Either way, this duck dish is sure to impress.

Gather the ingredients for Instant Pot duck a l'orange

To make this delicious, French-inspired duck dish, you'll need a whole duck, salt, pepper, vegetable oil, chicken broth, orange juice, granulated sugar, an orange for zesting, corn starch, and water. Having all of these items prepared and measured out ahead of time will ensure that the recipe comes together easily. With simple pantry staples like broth, juice, seasonings, and citrus, plus a basic thickening agent on hand, you'll soon be enjoying fork-tender duck in an incredible sauce made right in the pressure cooker. This hearty, elegant meal is worth the time you invest in it!

Step 1: Rinse the duck

Rinse the duck inside and out under cold water. Pat very dry with paper towels.

Step 2: Season the duck

Liberally season the inside cavity and all over the exterior with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Set Instant Pot to saute

Select the saute function on the Instant Pot, then add the vegetable oil.

Step 4: Add the duck to the Instant Pot

Carefully add the duck to the Instant Pot and sear for 5 minutes, until browned.

Step 5: Flip the duck

Using tongs, flip the duck and sear on the other side for 5 minutes.

Step 6: Remove the duck

Transfer the seared duck to a plate.

Step 7: Add broth

Pour chicken broth into the pot, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom.

Step 8: Add flavorings

Add orange juice, sugar, and orange zest. Stir continuously for 2 minutes, until sugar fully dissolves.

Step 9: Return duck to pot

Cancel the saute function and return the duck to the pot.

Step 10: Cook on high pressure

Lock the lid into place. Select the pressure cook function and set the time to 25 minutes on high pressure.

Step 11: Allow pressure to naturally release

When cooking completes, allow 15 minutes of natural pressure release. After 15 minutes, manually release any remaining pressure.

Step 12: Preheat the broiler

Preheat the broiler to high and cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Step 13: Transfer duck to a baking sheet

Carefully remove the lid. Use tongs to transfer the duck to the prepared baking sheet, breast side up.

Step 14: Broil

Broil the duck for 5 minutes, until the skin is crispy.

Step 15: Mix the corn starch and water

In a small bowl, mix the corn starch and water.

Step 16: Add slurry to the sauce

Select the saute function on the Instant Pot. Add the corn starch slurry, stirring continuously until the sauce thickens to the desired consistency, about 5 minutes.

Step 17: Serve duck with sauce

Carve the duck and serve with sauce over the top.

Can I make this duck a l'orange in a slow cooker instead of the Instant Pot?

While this recipe is designed for the Instant Pot, you can absolutely make a delicious duck a l'orange in the slow cooker with a few small changes. To adapt this recipe, use the same ingredients and cooking technique, simply cooking everything on the low setting for 4–6 hours, until the duck is fall-apart tender. The benefit of the Instant Pot is that pressure cooking reduces the cook time significantly, but the slow cooker will still gradually tenderize the duck after several hours. You'll follow the same steps of seasoning, searing, and assembling everything in the cooker before letting it simmer away hands-free. One difference is that there's no need for a natural release period with the slow cooker, and we don't recommend trying to transfer it to a baking sheet for broiling. Once your cook time is up, the duck should be perfectly cooked through. The sauce may need a bit of corn starch slurry to thicken at the end since it has more time to break down. But overall, the slow cooker is a great option for this French classic.

What sides go well with duck a l'orange?

The sweet, tangy, and savory duck a l'orange pairs wonderfully with a variety of side dishes. Simple roasted or mashed potatoes are a nice complement, soaking up the delicious sauce. Rice pilaf or wild rice blend in nicely with the French flair. You could also serve some roasted root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, or Brussels sprouts. A fresh green salad or steamed green beans help balance the richness of the duck. For a complete meal, consider a side like quinoa or farro salad loaded with nuts, dried cranberries, and citrus flavors. Warm rolls or a sliced baguette make for perfect tearing and dipping in the fabulous sauce. Whatever you choose, the possibilities are nearly endless for creating a complete and satisfying meal around the duck.

How long does the cooked duck a l'orange last in the fridge?

The cooked duck will keep well refrigerated for 3–4 days after cooking. Be sure to let it cool completely before storing it in an airtight container. Once cooled, the duck meat will continue tenderizing as it sits in the juices. With any leftover duck, we recommend that you slice or shred the meat to use in a variety of dishes throughout the week. Duck makes an amazing sandwich or wrap when paired with caramelized onions, spinach, and sharp cheese. Shredded duck could be used in tacos or nachos for a fun twist. You can also toss duck pieces into salads, pasta, or stir-fries. The rich meat stands up especially well to bitter greens like arugula or kale. Getting 4–5 days out of one duck recipe means you can enjoy the fruits of your cooking labor all week long, so make sure to properly refrigerate the duck to ensure that it stays fresh and delicious.

Instant Pot Duck A l'Orange Recipe
5 from 26 ratings
Cooking a whole duck to juicy, tender perfection is made easy in this recipe, which puts all of the cooking labor on the Instant Pot (a slow cooker works, too).
Prep Time
30
minutes
Cook Time
45
minutes
Servings
6
servings
Duck on platter with sauce in background
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 whole (roughly 5-pound) duck
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons water
Directions
  1. Rinse the duck inside and out under cold water. Pat very dry with paper towels.
  2. Liberally season the inside cavity and all over the exterior with salt and pepper.
  3. Select the saute function on the Instant Pot, then add the vegetable oil.
  4. Carefully add the duck to the Instant Pot and sear for 5 minutes, until browned.
  5. Using tongs, flip the duck and sear on the other side for 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer the seared duck to a plate.
  7. Pour chicken broth into the pot, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom.
  8. Add orange juice, sugar, and orange zest. Stir continuously for 2 minutes, until sugar fully dissolves.
  9. Cancel the saute function and return the duck to the pot.
  10. Lock the lid into place. Select the pressure cook function and set the time to 25 minutes on high pressure.
  11. When cooking completes, allow 15 minutes of natural pressure release. After 15 minutes, manually release any remaining pressure.
  12. Preheat the broiler to high and cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  13. Carefully remove the lid. Use tongs to transfer the duck to the prepared baking sheet, breast side up.
  14. Broil the duck for 5 minutes, until the skin is crispy.
  15. In a small bowl, mix the corn starch and water.
  16. Select the saute function on the Instant Pot. Add the corn starch slurry, stirring continuously until the sauce thickens to the desired consistency, about 5 minutes.
  17. Carve the duck and serve with sauce over the top.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 993
Total Fat 86.0 g
Saturated Fat 28.2 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 161.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 27.5 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Total Sugars 22.8 g
Sodium 579.4 mg
Protein 25.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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