I fed and watered my new little friend, Fluffy, every day and kept his cage clean. That duck followed me everywhere and I was equally attached to him.We spent a happy, blissful summer together, but when fall came, my mother decided that he had to go. It was a very sad day for me when I had to leave my dear little duck at a farm.
In spite of that childhood experience, all poultry, including duck, was fair game for my dinner table. When I discovered the recipe for Duck a L'Orange, I knew I had to try it. The orange sauce, which is the main part of this recipe, must have been created by a master chef...it makes this dish an elegant and special dining experience.
Note: While the sauce recipe is more complicated than most family fare, it is well worth the effort to make for a special, dinner-for-two. Remove skin from duck before eating and have plenty of napkins on hand if the half-duck servings are to be plated. An easier way to serve this meal is to remove the meat from the bones prior to serving.
3-4 lb domestic duck
4 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
2 T red wine vinegar
1 unpeeled orange, quartered
1 T dry red wine
Duck neck and giblets
2 C beef broth
2 tsp orange liqueur
2 Dashes of bitters
1 C water
Rinse bird; pat dry. Prick skin well all over with fork so fat will escape while it bakes. Season bird cavity with salt and pepper; place quartered orange inside. Set the bird, breast side up, on rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast, uncovered, in a 375 degree oven for about 1 ½ hours. Raise temperature to 425 degrees; roast 10 minutes more. (To reduce splattering, suction grease out of roasting pan with a baster as needed).
About an hour before serving, combine neck and giblets and beef broth in a saucepan. Simmer for 30 minutes uncovered or until drained stock measures 1 cup. Preserve stock and discard giblets and neck.
Cut peel from 2nd orange; slice peel into julienne strips with sharp knife (remove white membrane). Section orange pulp and set aside. Simmer peel in the 1 cup water for 15 minutes; drain.
In saucepan, combine sugar and vinegar; cook and stir to a thick syrup, do not burn. Immediately, remove from heat and stir in ¼ cup duck stock. Simmer 1 minute, stirring until combined. Add remaining stock. Stir together wine and cornstarch; add to mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add orange sections, cooked peel, orange liqueur, and bitters. Heat to boiling. (The bitters are very important to the flavor-blend ...do not omit!)
Split roast duck lengthwise and place on serving plates. Top with orange slices and divide sauce over each bird half. Makes 2 servings.