The fruit from my friends at Redbelly Citrus is superb this year, and ever since I tasted those roasted duck legs with blood orange sauce at the feast at Lucio's, I've been fantasising about cooking duck with a caramelised blood orange glaze.
Citrus and poultry combine beautifully and I have always enjoyed teaming duck with blood orange; and similarly, chicken with lemon.
As it happens, I have a plentiful supply of blood oranges; and duck breasts have been on special at my local poulterer. I also came across a recipe leaflet titled Master the art of cooking with duck, which presented me with clear instructions for perfectly cooked duck breasts.
My caramelised blood orange glaze is inspired by a recipe by chef Matthew Byrnes of Hordens Restaurant in Bowral, which appeared in a recent issue of Highlife magazine. I adapted the ingredients to suit our taste buds, leaving out the onions and red wine vinegar. I used Redbelly blood oranges, zest and fresh blood orange juice, instead of regular orange. I added roasted potatoes as a side.
Incidentally, please forgive me if the dish isn't plated a la a glossy food magazine. The food I present here is the food that Peter and I are about to sit down to eat. With my man waiting for his dinner, I have little time to fuss and fiddle faddle.
ROASTED DUCK BREAST WITH CARAMELISED BLOOD ORANGE GLAZE
1/3 cup caster sugar
250mls freshly squeezed blood orange juice
2/3 cup low salt chicken stock
zest of a blood orange, chopped
1 small blood orange, extra, segmented
2 portions of duck breast with skin on
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1-2 potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
sea salt and cracked black pepper
extra virgin olive oil (or use the rendered duck fat)
crisp green salad leaves, as a side
Heat the caster sugar in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Keep an eye on the pan and stir only as the sugar begins to melt. Once the sugar is liquid and golden brown, remove the pan from the heat and allow the caramel to cool slightly.
Slowly stir in the blood orange juice and the chicken stock, stirring until combined. Then add the zest and return the saucepan to the stove. Bring the sauce to a simmer and continue cooking until the liquid has reduced by at least half. Then, add the blood orange segments and cook until the glaze has cooked down. Season to taste with cracked black pepper and set aside.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 200 degrees C. Start cooking the potatoes by bringing them to the boil in a saucepan of lightly salted water. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then drain the potatoes and place them onto a baking tray lined with parchment. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt and cracked pepper. Pop the tray into the oven to roast the potatoes.
Now, prepare the duck breasts. Pat them dry with paper towelling and, using a sharp knife, score the skin and season it lightly with salt. Heat a frying pan (without oil) and place the breasts into the hot pan, skin side down. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the skin has turned golden brown (I like mine particularly brown and crispy, as you will see in the photograph above). Turn the breasts over and cook the other side for a further minute or so.
Now, transfer the duck breasts to the oven tray alongside the potatoes. Spoon some of the duck fat over the potatoes. Continue cooking the duck and potatoes for 8-10 minutes (at most). Remove the duck breasts from the oven and allow them to rest for 5-6 minutes before slicing and serving.
Reheat the caramelised blood orange glaze gently and spoon it over the sliced duck breasts, once plated. Serve with the roasted potatoes and a green salad. Serves 2.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.