Friday, June 01, 2007

Wild duck with Orange, Grapefruit, and Beetroot

2 mallards
2 sprigs of thyme
2 large sprigs of flat leaf parsley
600ml/1pint hot chicken stock
3 pickled baby beetroot, diced
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
For the Sauce:
150ml/1/4 pint orange juice
150ml/1/4 pint grapefruit juice
50g/2oz caster sugar
300ml/1/2 pint chicken stock
3 oranges, segmented
2 grapefruit, segmented

Preheat to 180c/350f
Put the ducks in a large roasting tin and place the thyme and parsley sprigs inside the cavities. Pour over the hot chicken stock and cover with foil. Place in the oven and braise for 1 hour. Remove the ducks from the roasting tin and pour away the excess fat. Increase the oven temp to 200c/400f. Return the ducks to the tin and roast uncovered for 35-40 min, until the skin is golden and crisp. Remove the ducks from the tin, cut off the legs and reserve for another recipe. Cover the ducks with foil to keep them warm and leave them to rest.
Pour away all but 2tbsp of the fat from the roasting tin. Place the tin on the hob, add the orange and grapefruit juice, sugar and chicken stock, and simmer for 15 min till syrupy and reduced by half. Stir in the orange and grapefruit segments and simmer for a minute longer, then season to taste.
Carve the duck breast and serve with the sauce, sprinkled with the diced beetroot.

This is the first time I’ve ever cooked a duck, well, two ducks to be specific. This was a really nice starter recipe because it was basically just roasting them. Twice during the cooking, you pour off the fat, and oh my god, ducks have so much fat, I had no idea, but it’s not hard to do.

Other then that, it’s just reducing a sauce. I found that my sauce didn’t reduce the way it was meant to. I cooked it quite a bit longer then it said, and it still never really did get syrupy, but it was still tasty.

The grapefruits were a bit too tart too, I would recommend you get as sweet a grapefruit as you can find, but the contrast of the sweetness of the sauce and the vinegary-ness of the pickled beetroot was nice and the duck was good and moist.

This was from the book Tony and Giorgio. It’s the first recipe I’ve tried from it, and I’ll definitely go back for more. It looks like it is going to be a fun book because it’s a good mix of Italian and British cooking styles (one of them is Italian and one of them is British). Should be fun.

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