Inspired by Heston Blumenthal of Fat Duck Restaurant in one of his TV programme 'Heston's Chocolate Factory Feast', I went in search of a classic recipe that best resembles the original French dish. I found one on the UK Good Food Channel website, tried it, and it turned out quite well!
A lovely dish which only requires a few ingredients - Duck breasts, oranges, chicken or duck stock, brown sugar, white wine vinegar and Grand Marnier.
The duck breasts were seasoned with sea salt and pepper, and although the recipe did not mention this, I used Grand Marnier to marinade the duck (to enhance the flavour) before searing then roasting in the oven.
|Grand Marnier - Orange Liquor|
The rind of an orange was pared in thick slices then cut into thin zests. The individual segments of the orange were then removed from the membrane and set aside.
More oranges were juiced to get 300ml of orange juice for the sauce.
To make the orange sauce, brown sugar and white wine vinegar were brought to boil and shimmered until half the liquid was left. Then the orange juice was added and shimmered until half the liquid was left before adding the chicken stock. Grand Marnier was added (optional) and the sauce was then shimmered until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon then set aside.
|Roasted Duck served on a bed of Curly Kale|
The duck breasts were seared in a hot pan skin-side down until the fat melted away then the duck was turned over to sear the flesh side. Then the duck breasts were transferred into the hot oven skin-side down for about 10-15 minutes with the seasoned cherry tomatoes on vine.
I also made creamy mashed potatoes and fried curly kale with bacon strips to serve with the duck.
Before serving, the orange sauce was brought back to boil again with zest and orange segments added to it then seasoned with salt and pepper. Once ready, the lovely orange sauce was spooned on to the dish and the duck was garnished with orange segments.
|Roasted Duck with the orange sauce|
A beautiful dish that tastes as good as it looks. The duck was roasted to perfection with a crispy skin and a slight pink to the middle producing a very juicy and succulent meat.
Like Heston Blumenthal said:"The acidity of the orange juice and bitterness of the orange zest cuts through the richness of the duck." Makes this a perfect combination for the palate.
My version of Duck a L'orange may not be as sophisticated as Heston's, though it would have been fun to do it his way with all those fancy gadgets and lab equipments, but all the same, I thoroughly enjoyed the process of making my very own Duck a L'orange!