It was near my husband's birthday when a dear friend gave me two ducklings. Michael loves duck, so I asked him how he wanted them fixed. This is my adaptation of Julia Child's recipe for Duck a l'Orange. The ducklings were a perfect one serving size, 15 ounces, and 17 ounces. The recipe that I had, said that a 5 pound duck would take 1 hour and 30 minutes. Since ours were just about a pound each, they only took 25 minutes. Thank you, Jenny!
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 duck giblets (along with neck, wing tips cut into 1-inch pieces, if not in frozen duck, use some of the fat from d)
- 1 carrot (sliced)
- 1 onion (sliced)
- 1 cup bouillon (beef)
- 3 cups water
- 4 parsley sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄4 teaspoon sage
- 1 quart water
- 4 oranges
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1⁄4 cup vinegar (red wine)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3⁄4 cup port wine (I use Ruby port)
- 1 1⁄2 ounces orange liqueur
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
- 1 tablespoon butter (softened)
- 2 lbs ducklings
- salt (to taste)
- pepper (to taste)
- Start the stock for the sauce well in advance.
- Brown duck parts with carrot and onion in oil. (or brown carrot and onion with gleaned duck fat).
- Add bullion and water.
- Simmer with herbs and reduce to 2 cups.
- Skim fat, any scum, strain, and set aside, or refrigerate until needed.
- To begin the sauce, bring water to simmer while preparing orange peel.
- The peel is for both the roasting duck, and the sauce. This also, needs to be done in advance.
- Peel oranges, making sure that the strips are only the orange colored part, not the bitter white.
- Julienne into strips about 1/8" or less by 1 1/2 ".
- Simmer in water 6 minutes, drain, rinse in cold water, dry, and set aside.
- Peel orange segments, put in covered container, and set aside, or refrigerate.
- Prepare duck by trimming loose fat, making sure all feathers are gone, and remove wishbone from breast (optional).
- Prick skin to allow fat to escape, and to baste the duck during the cooking.
- Season cavity of ducks with salt and pepper, and place 1/3 of orange peel and 1/3 of orange segments inside.
- The small ducklings will take about 25 to 30 minutes to roast, so you might want to continue the sauce at this point and preheat the oven to 450°F.
- In a saucepan, blend sugar and vinegar over low heat to dissolve.
- Boil rapidly until mixture begins to caramelize.
- Lower heat to simmer, add half the duck stock, and stir until mixture is no longer caramelized.
- Remove from heat.
- Add remaining stock, blended cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the port, remaining orange peel, and all but a few orange segments (saved for garnish).
- Simmer for 3-4 minutes, correct seasoning, and keep warm. Sauce should be clear and slightly thickened.
- Place ducklings on rack in small roasting pan, breast side up and place in oven.
- Roast 5 minutes, reduce heat to 350°F, and turn on side, and place back in oven.
- Continue to roast and turn, until duck is breast up. Roast 25 to 30 minutes total.
- When ducklings are done (juice will be rosy clear) place on warmed individual platters and keep warm.
- Finish sauce by removing fat from roasting pan and deglaze with port.
- Add to sauce.
- Bring sauce to simmer, add orange liqueur, and correct seasoning with lemon juice if sauce seems too sweet.
- Remove sauce from heat, swirl in butter and spoon some over ducks and put remainder in a warmed sauceboat.
- Garnish ducks with remaining orange segments, place rice and peas on platters and serve.