"I can't remember anyone eating duck at home. We would have pintade - guinea fowl - but it was a much bigger bird and cheaper," says Prunetti. "Chicken is traditionally the bird for home eating. Duck à la orange is a great restaurant classic - showy and one of the first examples of the mix of sweet and sour in the French menu. Serving citrus fruit with meat was rarely seen before. This dish was on the original France-Soir menu and remains due to demand." Start this recipe a day ahead to salt the duck.
- 2 ducks, Marylands and breasts removed, wings removed from breasts, carcasses and bones reserved for stock
- 70 gm sea salt flakes
- 1.2 litres duck fat, melted
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
- Frisée leaves and finely chopped parsley, to serve
- 1 duck carcass, coarsely chopped
- 1 litre dry white wine (4 cups)
- 2 celery stalks with leaves, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 60 ml honey (1/4 cup)
- 25 ml apple cider vinegar
- 1½ oranges, rind zested into strands, then peeled and segmented
- 50 ml freshly squeezed orange juice, strained
- Splash of Grand Marnier (optional), to serve
- 1Combine duck Marylands and salt in a non-reactive bowl (see cook’s notes), mix well, cover and refrigerate overnight to cure.
- 2For duck stock, preheat oven to 220C and roast carcass in a flameproof roasting pan until golden brown (25-30 minutes). Remove bones and drain off excess fat, then place the pan over medium heat and deglaze the pan with 2 tbsp white wine, gently scraping up the caramelised bits. Transfer bones to a stockpot, and vegetables, bay leaves, remaining wine, pan liquid and 3 litres cold water, or enough to just cover. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then simmer over medium-low heat, skimming surface occasionally, until well flavoured (3-3½ hours). Strain (discard bones, vegetables and bay leaves) and reduce over high heat to 1 litre (40-50 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve, refrigerate and remove the last of the fat as it cools.
- 3Rinse salted duck under cold running water, pat dry with paper towels and carefully place in a saucepan that fits Marylands in an even layer, then cover with melted duck fat. Confit duck over very low heat (no higher than 95C) until almost falling off the bone (1½-2½ hours; an old tradition in France still in use in the south-west is to insert a single straw from a clean broomstick into the duck – if it passes cleanly through the duck without breaking, the duck is ready).
- 4For orange sauce, cook honey in a small saucepan over medium heat until caramelised and a deep golden colour (2-3 minutes). Carefully add vinegar and orange rind (be careful, hot caramel will spit), bring to the boil, then reduce by half (2-3 minutes). Add orange juice and reduce by half again (2-3 minutes), then add 500ml duck stock (remaining stock will keep refrigerated for 3 days or freeze for a later use), bring to the boil and reduce until sauce is sticky and coats a spoon (25-30 minutes). Season to taste and carefully add a few drops of Grand Marnier.
- 5Preheat oven to 200C. Score duck breasts in a diamond pattern and season to taste. Place skin-side down in a cold frying pan over medium heat with a drizzle of grapeseed oil and cook until fat renders, draining fat occasionally and turning once, until cooked medium rare and internal temperature reads 52C on a meat thermometer (7-10 minutes on skin side, 5-8 minutes on other). Remove from heat and rest skin-side up for 5 minutes.
- 6Meanwhile, roast Marylands on a tray lined with baking paper until skin is crisp (15-20 minutes).
- 7Thickly slice duck breasts diagonally and arrange on warm plates with duck Marylands, top with hot sauce and orange segments, sprinkle with parsley and serve with frisée.
Non-reactive bowls are made from glass, ceramic or plastic. Use them in preference to metal bowls when marinating to prevent the acid in marinades reacting with metal and imparting a metallic taste
Drink Suggestion: 2013 Domaine Arlaud Morey-St-Denis 1er Cru Les Ruchots, Burgundy Drink suggestion by Pierre Stock