|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 24g||31%|
|Saturated Fat 14g||72%|
|Total Carbohydrate 91g||33%|
|Dietary Fiber 10g||36%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Duck a l'orange is possibly one of the most copied French recipes of all time. The dish first rose to fame in the 1960s when French cuisine became hugely popular in America thanks in part to this recipe, which features seared duck breast glazed with a sweet orange sauce. Orange matches well with duck, as the citrus cuts through any fattiness, yet it remains sweet, unlike lemon. This sophisticated dish is an excellent addition to party menus and romantic dinners. The easy sauce can be prepared ahead of time, and you can sear the duck right before serving.
Always use the plumpest duck breasts you can find. These are often referred to as duck magret in French and have a good layer of fat that is so important in keeping the meat moist and adding tons of flavor. Don't be deterred by the fat—much of it is rendered in cooking and can be used in a host of other recipes, including classic pommes sauté (sauteed potatoes). Serve duck a l'orange with simple side dishes like rice pilaf and steamed green beans.
- For the Sauce:
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups orange juice
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (cold)
- 2 tablespoons orange zest (divided)
- 4 oranges (sections cut from membranes)
- For the Duck:
- 1 duck breast (cut into 2 halves)
- Sea salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this duck dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.
Prepare the Orange Sauce
Gather the ingredients.
In a saucepan, boil the sugar and water for several minutes until the syrup caramelizes and turns a golden brown color.
Add the sherry vinegar, orange juice, shallots, and chicken stock and simmer until the sauce is reduced to a little less than 1 cup.
Cut the cold butter into small pieces and add to the pan with 1 tablespoon of orange zest.
Shake the pan back and forth over medium heat until the butter has melted and is incorporated into the sauce.
Stir in the orange sections.
The sauce can be cooled and stored until you're ready to prepare the duck breasts, or you can set it aside and proceed with cooking the breasts.
Cook the Duck Breasts
Pat dry the 2 half breasts with paper towels.
Slash through the fat on the breast with a sharp knife to create a crisscross pattern. This will help release the fat, which will crisp up the skin while cooking.
Sprinkle both the meat side and the fat with a little sea salt and pepper.
Heat a skillet over high heat. Sear the duck breasts quickly on both sides, then cook the duck for 9 to 11 minutes on each side. (The USDA recommends cooking duck to 160 F or 170 F, but if you prefer it pinker, cook to medium-rare, 135 to 140 F; it is still safe to eat.)
Remove the breasts from the pan and place on a warm plate. Cover with paper towels and leave them to rest for 5 minutes. This helps to soften the duck after cooking.
Assemble the Dish
Reheat the sauce.
Place the duck on a hot plate, either whole or neatly sliced. Spoon the sauce over the duck. Garnish the plate with the remaining orange zest.
Serve immediately and enjoy.