ducks, about 3 lbs each, plump
duck broth, made with giblets of duck, otherwise use commercial chicken broth
oranges, plump, ripe
1 tablespoon brandy or 1 tablespoon Cointreau liqueur or 1 tablespoon
celery, long, finely chopped
onion, chopped finely
( extra for garnish)
- Heat oven to 400 deg F/200 deg Celsius.
- Prick the duck breasts, put ducks into 2 oven bags, put in an oven tin, and roast in the preheated oven for 1 hour.
- During that time, boil sugar and vinegar together in small heavy-bottomed pot until it's like toffee.
- Also grate the rind from the oranges, avoiding the white pith, and then juice the oranges. Quantity is not all-important.
- VERY carefully pour in the cup of broth or stock -- it wil sizzle and bubble, so stand back a little.
- Add the orange juice, rind and the brandy. (Rum will do in a pinch if you really have none of the liquors mentioned, but other hard liquors are not the same in this case as brandy or an orange liqueur).
- Stir the sauce mixture with a whisk over very low heat until the "toffee" has melted into the juice and booze.
- Take the ducks from the oven, cut open the bags, and remove the ducks carefully to a suitable container. What you do with the fat is your decision -- !
- Carve off the four breast pieces neatly, and cut off the legs in 4 whole sections. Do not divide up.
- Arrange the breasts and legs neatly in an oven dish, ladle over the sauce, and return the dish to the still-hot oven for about 20 minutes more, or until duck is tender. (We will not bother with underdone breasts in this recipe). DO NOT BASTE.
- Don't clean the small pot: you'll need it again.
- (If your oven is as hot as mine, turn the heat down to 350 deg F/180 deg C for this last part of the roasting).
- Now fry the flaked almonds in the melted butter until pale brown -- keep a watch, they burn quickly.
- Take the duck from the oven, transfer the pieces to a heated serving platter, sprinkle with salt, and scatter over the almonds. Keep warm, uncovered.
- Return the sauce in the oven dish to the small pot, add the chopped celery and onion, and simmer only until celery softens. Taste for seasoning, using some salt and pepper.
- Pour the sauce into a gravy boat, or if a lot has cooked away, ladle around duck on platter. (Not on the duck -- it will lose its crispness).
- Surround duck with thinly-sliced orange slices, if you want.
- Serve with basmati rice or South African Yellow Rice, and a green vegetable such as young green beans.