Crispy Duck Crown with Bigarade Sauce

Bigarade sauce is a French orange sauce originating from Provence and is a classic accompaniment for duck. The sauce can be made in advance and reheated when ready to serve.

Serves: 4-5
10 mins
90 mins


For the duck

  • 2 Gressingham duck crowns
  • 4 tbsp clear honey
  • Pinch of salt

For the sauce

  • 1 lemon
  • 3 oranges
  • 45g light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Rapeseed oil for frying
  • 4 duck wings
  • 700ml duck or chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


Preparing the sauce (this can be made in advance and re-heated when ready to serve)

  1. Pare the zest from the lemon and two of the oranges and set aside. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and all the oranges and set aside.
  2. Place the sugar and wine vinegar into a fairly deep frying pan and allow to dissolve over a low heat. Turn up the heat a little and continue to cook until you have a deep golden caramel.
  3. Heat another frying pan, add a splash of rapeseed oil and quickly brown the duck wings. As soon as the vinegar syrup has formed a caramel, add the citrus juice together with the browned duck wings. Continue to cook for a few minutes giving the pan a good shake before pouring into the stock. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer gently for 45 minutes – skimming the surface as necessary to remove any scum.
  4. Meanwhile, cut the citrus zests into fine julienne, add to a pan of boiling water and blanch for one minute before draining thoroughly.
  5. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve into a clean pan and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the zests and the sauce is ready to serve.

Preparing and cooking the duck

  1. Place the honey and a pinch of salt into a saucepan with four tbsp of water. Bring to the boil and then turn off the heat (don’t reduce the liquid otherwise the glaze will become too syrupy and might burn).
  2. Paint the glaze over the duck crowns and set aside for 20 minutes.
  3. When ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6. Place the duck crowns breast side up on a rack in a roasting tin and roast in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes before lowering the temperature to 180°C /Gas mark 4. Continue to roast for a further 30 minutes until the skin is crisp and deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Our Story

The Gressingham duck is a unique breed that first came about when the small but flavourful wild Mallard was crossed with the larger Pekin duck giving a meaty, succulent duck with more breast meat, less fat and a rich gamey flavour.