That’s not how you cook Duck a L’Orange! – Fraiser Crane.
We’ve been re-watching Frasier recently, and we can’t believe how funny this 1990’s sitcom still is. It inspired us to share this amazing Duck a L’Orange recipe from Chef Bertrand Grébaut of Septime and Calmato in Paris, France.
This recipe is featured in the new book, Acid Trip by Michael Harlan Turkell. We recently went to a book signing for this book at Cockscomb in San Francisco with our friend Kate Leahy. The book focuses on recipes that use vinegar, and recently won the IACP award for culinary travel. You can also find Michael’s recipe for Chimichurri Chicken Wings here.
According to the book, “Traditionally done as a whole bird, Grébaut’s recipe uses only the breasts, cooking them slowly on the bone to a perfect roast. He infuses orange zest and adds orange juice to the base, cooking it down by half. He also prefers using honey to make the caramel for the gastrique, before deglazing with vinegar, but you can also use sugar. The final sauce is then made by balancing the amount of orange gastrique and duck jus. At Septime you will more often find this type of technique used with a salty dairy product (e.g., feta) or a bitter vegetable (e.g., white asparagus), but it’s also delicious in its classic context.”
Let us know what you think about this recipe. We don’t think it’s one that Frasier Crane could argue with!
Duck à l'Orange
- 2 Duck Breasts, Bone-in, about ¾ pound (340 g) each
- Black pepper
- ¼ cup (60ml) Water
- ¼ cup (85 g) Honey or ¼ cup (50 g) White Sugar
- ¼ cup (60 ml) White Wine Vinegar
- 1 cup (240 ml) Orange Juice, freshly squeezed is best
- ¼ cup (60 ml) Duck Jus, use stock or save some while rendering out the duck fat
- ¼ cup (25 g )Orange Peels cut into 3-inch-long (7.5-cm-long) thin strips
- Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper. In a large heavy skillet, slowly cook the duck skin-side down over medium-low heat, rendering the fat and getting the skin crispy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the duck breasts and place them on a roasting pan, skin-side up. Reserve fat to use as jus and save the rest for another recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
- Scrape the bottom of the skillet, add the water, and stir to release the fond. Add the honey, increase the heat to medium- high, and let come to a slow boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, until
- golden brown. Add the vinegar, but don’t lean over the pan, as the vapors will release. Continue to cook until the mixture begins to turn into a caramel, about 1 minute, then add the orange juice, bring back to a boil, and cook for another 10 minutes, or until reduced by half. Add the duck jus and boil for another 1 to 2 minutes. Take off heat and add in orange peels.
- Use a bit of this gastrique as a glaze for the duck. Brush on a layer and place the duck breasts in the oven for a few minutes, then brush on some more. Cook for about 20 minutes for medium to medium-rare. Once the duck is cooked to your liking, let rest for a few minutes before serving. Serve it on the bone or slice it for plating.
- Make a pool of gastrique on each plate. Place the duck on top. If you pour the sauce on top of the crispy skin, it will get soggy, though I do like adding a few steeped orange peels on top for effect.
From Acid Trip by Michael Harlan Turkell, published by ABRAMS c 2017. Photo credit Michael Harlan Turkell.