Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Duck a L'Orange

Duck is fattier than chicken resulting in a crispier skin and a meat that is harder to get too dry. Duck a L'Orange is a classic french dish that is perhaps one of the most famous ways to serve duck. It is a roast duck with a sweet orange sauce, the orange compliments the flavors of the duck amazingly well without overwhelming the natural rich taste of the meat it is easy to see why it is so famous. It is moist and sweet and savory and wonderful.
I found duck at my Aldi's last week and I grabbed it. It was declared "Very tasty." "Decadent." and "More duck, Mommy I wan more duck pwees."

For the Duck
half an orange
vegetables for roasting

for the sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
zest from one orange
corn starch

I started by preheating the oven to 475, peeling and chopping my vegetables (I used sweet potatoes and carrots) I found that the veggies cooked unevenly so you may want to start precooking them some while you are preparing the duck itself.

Once the duck was thawed I removed the induced giblets and washed it, patting it dry. I then seasoned it inside and out with salt, pepper, sage and rosemary. I stuffed it with half an orange that I had quartered and crushed to start to release its flavor more (I used the one I zested earlier for the sauce).  This did not totally fill the bird as I wanted some room.

Normally you would want to do this next step with a bunt pan I could not find mine (I think I left it at my mother's house) so I lined an angel food cake pan with foil and tried that, it leaked even though it was lined so you if you don't have a bunt pan you might just want to lay it in a traditional roasting pan.

Fill bottom of the pan with your vegetables and then place the bird on the center rise so that the center portion of the pan is in the birds cavity similar to the beer can method if you have ever seen that. the purpose is similar it allows the juices to be caught in the pan with the vegetables but lets the bird cook evenly and crisply on all sides.

Place the pan on a cookie sheet as a just in case catch for drippings that might sneak down the center hole and roast your duck for 30 min, then basting with the juices turn the oven down to 350 and roast it for about 1 and 1/4 hours or until done depending upon your birds size, when finished turn on the broiler and let it get a final crisping for about 3-4 min if you think it needs it. Take it out and let it rest, laying down for about 15 min before carving.

While the duck is cooking boil the giblets to get about 1 cup duck broth. (you can substitute part of the water with white wine for a richer taste)

Take 1/3 cup brown sugar and place in a heavy sauce pan over medium heat. Do not stir it. let it sit until it begins to melt and then stir. once all melted remove from heat the residual heat should bring it to a caramel, add 1/3 cup orange juice and the orange zest and 1 cup duck broth. stir until caramel is dissolved and then over medium low add corn starch a little at a time whisking well with a fork to blend with no lumps. keep a close eye on this as corn starch will thicken rather quickly and it does not take a lot. it will be about the consistency of the little packets of "Duck sauce" you get from Chinese food places when it is right.

I finished the meal my chocolate moose (which I remember to take pictures of this time so that recipe will be posted soon)

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