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The Late Great Fred Koss' Purple Duck

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“I originally found this recipe on the internet, on Uncle Phaedrus' website. This recipe came from Marya, whose father (Fred Koss) made the tasty and flamboyant dish he reportedly got from a magazine sometime in the 1960s. However, when her father passed away the family was without the unique dish until it was located in her deceased aunt's cookbook collection, where it was titled "Chicken L'Orange." I haven't yet tried this recipe, but I emailed back and forth with Marya to get details and translated it as best I could into a more modern format - it's so unusual that I wanted to keep it in my collection and share it with you. It could be great for a fun retro dinner party. :) Marya made it last Easter and says, "I made a big ham and the equivalent of (I think) 4 ducks. My poor ham sat there completely ignored. The crowd went crazy for it. It was just as good as we remembered. As far as the purple, I'd call it more burgundy or maroon, but it's very beautiful..."”
3hrs 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Quarter 2 ducks and trim all excess fat, pricking skin all over to allow fat to escape during cooking.
  3. Season ducks with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  4. Place ducks in a roasting pan with a rack and bake for 1 hour at 400 degrees F, checking occasionally to make sure meat doesn't burn.
  5. When ducks have roasted for 45 minutes, begin making the sauce.
  6. In a food processor or blender, combine the sauce ingredients except for red food coloring and blend until smooth.
  7. Pour mixture into saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. When ducks have roasted an hour, carefully set aside the duck pieces, remove the fat from the pan drippings and add drippings to the sauce and simmer an additional 5 minutes, adding food coloring to achieve preferred color.
  9. Back in the roasting pan, place each duck quarter on half of an orange and pour the sauce all over.
  10. Decrease oven temperature to 300 degrees and roast the ducks for an additional 2 hours, basting every 15 minutes.
  11. Transfer roasted duck quarters to large serving platters, and garnish platters with the baked oranges topped with crab apple rings and maraschino cherries, and accompanied with saffron rice.

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