Roast Duckling with Orange Sauce
Classic French canard al'orange takes advantage of the delightful flavor compatibility of duck and citrus fruit. The caramel-colored sauce, scented with orange peel, is a rich complement to the dark, dense, full-flavored meat.
6 1/2 cups water
1 (4 1/2 to 5-pounds) duckling
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 dry bay leaf
2 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon or base
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup port of Madeira
2 tablespoons cornstarch blended with 1/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
- Pare off thin outer layer of peel (colored part only) from oranges with a vegetable peeler, then cut peel into slivers about 1/16-inch wide and 1-inch long. In a small pan, bring 3 cups of the water to a boil; add slivered orange peel, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain peel and set aside.
- Cut all remaining peel and white membrane from oranges. Cut between segments; lift segments free, cover, and refrigerate.
- Remove duckling neck and giblets; reserve neck for other uses and set giblets aside. Pull off and discard lumps of fat from duckling; then rinse duckling inside and out and pat dry. Sprinkle inside and out with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Sprinkle a third of the drained orange peel inside duckling. Tie legs and tail together. Place duckling breast down; with a long metal skewer, fasten neck skin to back, closing cavity securely. Tuck wingtips behind body. Prick skin all over at 1/2-inch intervals. Place duckling, breast down, on a rack in a shallow baking pan.
- Roast duckling in a 375°F (190°C) oven for 30 minutes. Siphon or spoon out fat from pan; add 1/2 cup of the water, onion and carrot to pan. Turn ducking breast up and continue to roast until legs move freely, about 1 1/2 more hours. Transfer duckling to a serving dish and keep warm. Reserve pan drippings.
- While duckling is roasting, combine giblets, 1/2 teaspoon salt, bay leaf and remaining 3 cups water in a small pan. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat, cover and simmer until giblets are tender when pierced, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove giblets and bay leaf; boil broth, uncovered, over high heat until reduced to 2 cups. Remove from heat and add bouillon. In another small pan, combine vinegar and sugar. Simmer over medium-low heat until liquid turns a caramel color; then pour vinegar mixture into prepared duckling broth.
- Skim and discard fat from roasting pan. Place pan over high heat and add port, stirring to scrape browned bits free. Pour port mixture through a fine wire strainer set over a bowl;discard vegetables. Add strained port mixture to duckling broth and bring to a boil. Stir in cornstarch mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thick and smooth. Stir in remaining orange peel and liqueur, then season sauce to taste with salt and pepper and blend in butter until melted. Pour sauce into a small serving dish.
- Garnish duckling with orange segments. Offer sauce to spoon over individual servings.
Makes 4 servings.