Duck a l’orange

Credit for this recipe, as you might’ve guessed, goes to Anthony Bourdain.

1 duck, trimmed of excess fat

salt and pepper

1/2 orange, cut into four pieces

1 lemon, cut into six pieces

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

2 ounces sugar

2 cups dark duck or chicken stock

3 ounces Grand Marnier (we used triple sec to save some money)

2 tablespoons butter

Confit of Orange zest (see below)

Juice of 1/2 an orange

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 Oranges, peeled and segmented

First, read the bottom of this recipe for confit of orange zest. Do this ahead of time: like the afternoon of or the day before you’re going to serve this.

Once you’ve got that done, pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees. After rinsing out the insides of the duck and removing the giblets, season the cavity and outside of the duck with salt and pepper. Place the orange and lemon pieces inside the cavity. Truss the duck, just like a chicken. (You’ll also want to remove the wing tips.)

Place the duck in a roasting pan or a baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes at 250. Then remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Turn the oven up to 350 degrees. Place the duck back in the roasting pan, but this time, elevate it from the bottom with a wire or silicon rack. Cook in the oven for about an hour and 15 minutes, until the skin is crispy and deep, golden brown. To avoid uneven cooking, you might want to rotate the pan every so often.

While the duck is roasting, you’ll want to concentrate on the sauce. First, combine the vinegar and the sugar and bring to a boil. Using a wet pastry brush to keep the sugar from hardening on the sides of the pan, continue to cook until the sugar has completely dissolved and the liquid has the consistency of a light caramel. Remove it from the heat and add the stock (carefully! it’s hot!!!) gradually. If you’re not slow and easy, the stock could come boiling out and really put a hurtin’ on you.

Simmer the sauce for 45 minutes on low heat. When the duck is cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest. Reserve the excess fat from the roasting pan, but pour this out into something else. (You’ll want it for making yummy things like duck fat potatoes.) Place the now greaseless pan over high heat and add the triple sec/Grand Marnier (be careful – it could flame up!). Scrape up all of the duck bits stuck to the bottom and pour this into the simmering sauce. Simmer until the sauce is reduced by half then strain through a fine strainer into a small saucepan. Add the juices from the resting duck. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Whisk in the butter and add the confited orange zest, orange juice, and lemon juice.

On the serving platter, arrange the orange segments around the duck and pour the sauce over and around it. Reserve the rest in a gravy-boat or other similar serving contraption. Carve the duck like a chicken and ENJOY!


Confit of Orange Zest:

2 Oranges

1 cup water

4 ounces sugar

With a paring knife, remove the peel from the oranges. Cut away white pith from the peel and cut the remaining zest into strips.

Combine the water and sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil. Add the strips of zest and reduce to a simmer. Loosely cover the pot and let the liquid cook until it is reduced by half. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Strain the zest and store in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it.

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