Duck a l’OrangeCourse: Dinner, FestiveCuisine: French
This recipe is out of this world amazing but it is a process and I would start a couple days before.If you have thawed ducks I would make the sauce before as it is quite a process and will free up your time to focus on the ducks and other sides you will be serving. The sauce is incredible and if you end up with to much, freeze it and use it with any poultry or pork. I made this for New Years Eve and it was a hit and have now made so many times. If you want a dish that is sure to impress this is one of them. My kids beg for this dish at the holidays. The flavors are so perfect with the sweetness of the duck. It really is out of this world.
2 5 1/2 – 6lb whole ducks, preferably Pekin, trimmed of excess fat, necks, gizzards, and hearts reserved
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 leek, white and pale green parts, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed but not peeled
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 quart chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
3 navel oranges
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons currant jelly
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 Tablespoons cold butter
- Preheat oven to 450. Cut off the wing joints and reserve. Chop the neck into 2 inch pieces.
- Prick the ducks around the thigh and breast, season with salt and pepper inside and out. Set the ducks in a large roasting pan. Set the ducks breast side up on the rack as far apart as possible. Add the water to the pan and roast ducks in center of oven for 20 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 350. Turn the ducks to their sides, propping them up with 2 large balls of foil between them, roast for 30 minutes. Turn ducks to their other sides and roast for 30 minutes longer.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the hearts, gizzards, wing joints and necks, season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring until well browned about 10 minutes. Add the carrots, tomatoes, celery, leek, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme and cook stirring until softened about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and tomato paste. Gradually still in the stock and wine, bring to a boil and stirring, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 1 hour. Strain the sauce into a bowl, pressing the solids to get all the flavors into the sauce. YOU CAN MAKE THE SAUCE TO THIS POINT A COUPLE DAYS BEFORE.
- Remove the zest from 1 of the oranges, in long strips, then quickly blanch the strips. Drain and rinse under cold water. pat dry.
- Halve two of the oranges and squeeze to get 1 cup of the juice, making sure no seeds are present. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, boil the sugar and vinegar over medium high heat until the syrup is a pale caramel color, about 4 minutes. Slowly, add in the fresh squeezed orange juice, then the currant jelly and bring to a boil. Add the strained duck sauce and simmer over medium heat till slightly reduced about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the Grand Mariner and remove from heat. Swirl in the cold butter, 1 Tablespoon at a time.
- Pour off the fat in the roasting pan. Turn the ducks breast side up and roast for another 40 minutes longer. remove the ducks from the oven and turn the oven to broil. Broil the ducks 6 inches from the heat, rotating a few times until golden brown about 3 minutes.
- Transfer the pan to the counter, using tongs tilt the ducks so all the juices flow out into the pan. Transfer ducks to a warmed serving platter and cover loosely to keep warm. Scrape pan juices into a fat separator and pour the juices back into the roasting pan. Simmer juices over medium heat, scraping up any browned bits. Strain into the orange sauce.
- Garnish duck with sprigs of fresh thyme and orange slices. Scatter with blanched zest. pass the sauce separately.