Duck a L’Orange

Our Canadian Thanksgiving feast! I usually make anything but turkey for thanksgiving, because in November John and I make a traditional turkey with all the fixings. Although this recipe is for 2 ducks, it can easily be halved.

Duck – 8-10 servings

2 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon black pepper
2 (5- to 6-lb) Long Island duck (also called Pekin)
2 oranges, zested, halved, juiced
4 fresh thyme sprigs
4 fresh marjoram sprigs
2 fresh parsley sprigs
2 small onions, cut into wedges
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 carrot
1 celery rib

2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh orange juice (from 1 to 2 oranges)
3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh orange zest

To prepare and roast the 2 ducks:

Put an oven rack on the lowest part of the oven, preheat oven to 475 degrees F.

In a small bowl, stir together salt, coriander, cumin, and pepper. Pat the duck dry and sprinkle inside and out of both ducks with spice mixture, sprinkle skin with zest. Cut one orange into quarters and put in duck cavity with thyme, marjoram, parsley, and 4 onion wedges.

Spread remaining onion wedges in roasting pan with carrot and celery, then place duck on top of vegetables and roast for 30 minutes.

Squeeze juice from the other orange and stir together with wine and stock.

Pour the wine mixture into the roasting pan and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue to roast duck for an hour to hour and 15 minutes, until thermometer inserted into a thigh and it registers 170°F. Turn on the broiler and broil the duck until top is golden brown, about 3 minutes.

After the duck has been roasting for an hour, using a baster, remove 1 cup of juices from the pan. And start working on the sauce (below).

Tilt duck to drain juices from cavity, and transfer the duck to a serving platter. Let duck stand 15 minutes.

Make sauce:
While duck roasts for it’s final 15 minutes, melt sugar in a dry medium sized saucepan over medium heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar melts into a deep golden caramel. Add orange juice, vinegar, and salt (BE CAREFUL) and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel is dissolved. Remove syrup from heat.

If you have a fat seperator, use it! If not heat 1 cup of strained pan juices in a 2 quart saucepan.

Stir together butter and flour in a small bowl. Add it to the heated pan juices, then add the butter mixture, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Add orange syrup and zest and simmer, whisking occasionally, until sauce is thickened slightly and zest is tender, about 5 minutes. Pour into a warmed gravy boat and serve.

Be sure to remind your guests the duck deserves to be drenched in some lovely sauce.

Bon Appetit & Happy Cooking!