Duck à l’orange, an iconic and opulent classic that conjures that collective image of a princely meal served on silver platters in the center of long banquet tables.

But this dish “il paparo alla melarancia” actually appears in Florentine recipes books in the 1400s and was exported over the Alps by Catherine de Medici when she married Henry II of France.

Other than the duck recipe, the beautiful Catherine also took with her the brown onion soup and bechamel recipes, as well as numerous beauty potions that aren’t considered very edible today.

When we asked Frollemente’s Lucia & Claudiu for a dish to pair with our Cabernet Franc di Vignamaggio, they suggested this magnificent recipe, granting us a voyage into Tuscany’s most classic culinary tradition.


1 x 2 kg duck

4 red oranges

3 sprigs of rosemary

2 large white onions

40 ml extra virgin olive oil

100 ml brandy for simmering




Quarter each onion and place into a casserole dish on the stove top. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the onions and brown them. Add the duck and seal the outside until golden brown.

Now, thinly slice two oranges; juice the other two and strain the juice.

Arrange the orange slices around the duck and pour the juice over the duck. Add the rosemary and braise quickly for 10 minutes on the stovetop.

Now add the brandy and salt, and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate. Cover with aluminum foil and roast in the oven for an hour and a half at 200 degrees.

When well cooked, grill for 15 to 20 minutes until the duck is golden brown.

Serve sliced and dressed with the cooking juices