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  • Writer's pictureBobbi Jo Lathan

Skillet Duck Legs in Orange Sauce

Updated: Dec 31, 2023

Skillet Duck

Before that duck season was over, my Momma would have pressure-cooked, wine-sauced, pan-fried, orange-sauced,  and oven-roasted enough duck to fill her own Wild Bird Cookbook! Now, all her recipes were delicious, but her very own Skillet- Fried Duck Legs in Orange Sauce was always my personal favorite.

I know duck huntin’ season isn’t ‘til October, but this here dee-lish-us skillet recipe of Momma’s is sure to ruffle-up some taste buds around your supper table! Here’s to some happy huntin’ and even happier eatin’!

Skillet Duck Legs in Orange Sauce

Recipe by: Bobbi Jo Lathan

Recipe type: Main

Cuisine: Southern

Serves: 4


4 hours 30 mins


50 mins


5 hours 20 mins



4 duck legs

Salt and freshly grated black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

½ tablespoon olive oil


1 tablespoon granulated sugar

⅓ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

½ tablespoon freshly grated orange peel

Orange Sauce:

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon water

½ cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice

1 tablespoon freshly chopped ginger (chopped fine)

½ cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon grated orange peel



  1. First off, we’re gonna marinate them beautiful duck legs.

  2. Cut two oranges in half and juice them.

  3. Now, grate the orange peel onto a plate.

  4. Place half the grated orange and ⅓ cup of the orange juice into a plastic bag.

  5. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the juice and mix up.

  6. Take your duck legs and poke little holes into the skin with a knife or skewer and add those legs into the plastic bag of orange juice and peel.

  7. Let them marinate in the ice box for about 4 hours. Set aside the remaining juice and peel to add later.

Skillet Duck Legs:

  1. Add butter and olive oil to skillet and turn up to medium heat.

  2. Take out the marinated duck legs from the orange juice mixture, pat dry, and salt and pepper both sides of the legs.

  3. Place the duck legs, skin side down into the hot skillet.

  4. Brown the legs for 8-10 minutes on skin side, then turn over legs, take off heat and let the legs cook off the burner for another 10 minutes in the already hot pan.

The Orange Sauce:

  1. While that’s still cookin’, get out another little sauce pan. We’re gonna make the orange sauce.

  2. Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the duck fat from the skillet with the legs in it, and place it into your little sauce pan.*

  3. Add the remaining orange juice and peel that you set aside from earlier to sauce pan with the duck fat.

  4. Add the water, sugar, wine, vinegar, orange juice, grated orange peel, chopped ginger and chicken stock. Stir frequently while bringing to a boil.

Finishing The Dish:

  1. Now, pour that orange sauce over the duck that’s been resting in the skillet and return the skillet to the burner and cover with a lid. Cook on medium heat for 35 minutes.

  2. Put your oven on broil.

  3. Take the lid off the the duck legs and place it in the oven on broil to get crispy for 2-3 minutes.

  4. Take it out, let it rest for a few minutes and serve up with some extra orange slices and sprinkles of fresh parsley.


* Any remaining duck fat in the skillet with the duck legs can be poured off and put in your ice box for a later date. Serve with potatoes? YUM!


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