Duck A L’Orange is a dish that brings me back to my childhood. It brings me back to my grandmother’s house for Christmas, where she used to cook it for us every year. Obviously along side other dishes, like Christmas Pudding or a wholeheartedly slate of Lasagna, but you get what I mean.
The history of the dish is very Christmassy for 90% of us, who grow up in an mixed cultured household. I revisited the dish, as the girls are not fans of the bird to eat, and wanted to share it with you as an option for Christmas Day Dinner or the days up to it.
It’s a quick dish to prepare and cook ( unless you go for the whole duck), and it’s also fairly easy.
- 2 Duck Breasts, around 400g/500g
- 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar
- 500ml of Duck Stock
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- The zest and juice kept separately on 1 orange
- 1 Shallot, finely chopped
- Around 250ml of White or Orange Wine
- Some salt
- Some pepper
- Some Olive oil
Start by prepping the sauce.
In a medium saucepan, placed on med-high heat, place the sugar and let caramelised by gently stirring it with a fork From the edge to the center of the pan.
Once caramelised, remove the pan from the heat and add the shallots, the orange zest & juice, and the broth, all while still stirring the sauce.
Return it to medium heat, add the wine, and let to cook until reduced to a creamy sauce for 20-25 minutes.
While the sauce cooks, it’s time to prepare the duck.
Score the breast with a sharp knife, from both left and right, in a crosshatch pattern on both sided of the breast. Season with salt and pepper on both sides as well and leave to rest for a few minutes- this will allow the salt to be incorporated in the meat.
In a pan, drizzle some oil, and place on a medium heat. Place the duck with the skin side on first, and cook on each side for about 10 minutes until crispy.
Once ready serve with the sauce on the side.
- The cooking time for the duck it’s for a medium/ rare result. Just cook it for a few more minutes on each side to cook it through more.
- If you don’t have any sherry vinegar, you can easily replace it with a tablespoon each of Balsamic Vinegar & White Wine Vinegar.
- When you choose the wine, and if you decide to go cheap, I recommend using an orange wine. Orange wine will enhance the flavour of the sauce and add some sweetness to it. Otherwise, a low sulphites white will work splendidly as well. I used Ciello, a White light bodied Cataratto from Sicily.
- Pay attention to the caramel while cooking it. It is a fine line between a nice caramel and a burnt one. Trust me, I make that mistake all the time!
- We decided to eat it with some potatoes on the side, but you can choose any side you like. We recommend Brussels sprouts or fine beans as well.
- If you make more than 2 breasts and have any left overs, we suggest to crisping the duck up in the oven, and serve with some croutons and iceberg lettuce in salad! An easy pleaser for all!
Once done, why not treat yourself with some tasty Mince Pies?
Let us know what you think of this dish. Did you have any other traditions for Christmas dinner?