Duck a L’Orange

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You can use any type of duck that you can find in your local supermarket or butche. I like to use the Rohan duck, which is exclusively available at D’Artagnan. It is raised without antibiotics or hormones in open barns, and is the company’s proprietary hybrid that includes the Heritage Mallard and Pekin duck breeds. With a flavor reminiscent of a heritage-breed duck from France, the juicy, tender, rose-colored meat and mild taste make the Rohan™ Duck unique.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 quart fresh-squeezed orange juice, or bottled
One 12-ounce jar orange marmalade, reserving  3 tablespoons for basting
½ cup honey
1 D’Artagnan Rohan Duck, 5 to 6 pounds
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 small red onion
3 garlic cloves
1 small lemon
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 thin-skinned navel orange, washed and cut into thin slices
½ cup Grand Marnier

Directions:

Remove the duck from the packaging and rinse the duck inside and out with cold water, reserving the neck and liver, if desired. Trim the excess fat and skin.

Combine orange juice, marmalade, and honey in a bowl  or casserole dish, deep enough to hold duck. Add duck, and drizzle the marinade over the duck, cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Make sure you turn the duck once or twice if marinade doesn’t cover it completely.

The NEXT day,

Preheat oven to 375 ° F.

Remove duck from marinade, reserving marinade.

Using a fork, prick duck skin all over with a fork, but DO NOT pierce the flesh. Season inside and out with salt and pepper.  Slice the small red onion, break the garlic cloves in half and slice the small lemon in half and place the onion, garlic and lemon in the cavity of the duck. Using kitchen twine, truss the duck and place breast  side up on a rack in a roasting pan. If you do not have a rack for you pan, use three or four four ribs of celery, laying them in a row and set the duck on top of the celery “rack”.  If you are using a Granite Ware Enameled Dutch oven to roast your duck, be sure to cover the duck with the lid provided.  Transfer the roasting pan to oven and roast the duck. After 10 minutes, turn heat down to 350°F and roast for 1 ½ hours.

Once duck has rendered some fat, spoon 2 about tablespoons of it into a saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, add onion, and sauté until tender and light brown, 5 to 6 minutes stirring occasionally. Pour in reserved marinade and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring up any browned bits. Adjust heat to medium and reduce liquid until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Pour the sauce into an electric blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Pour through a strainer into a saucepan and add the Grand Marnier and set aside.

When duck has roasted for 1 ½ hours, remove pan from oven and turn heat down to 325°F. Discard all but a little fat from roasting pan, and lay orange slices over bottom of pan.  Return the duck, placing it over the orange slices. Using a pastry brush, baste the duck with the sauce. Return the pan to oven and cook until slices begin to brown about 10 minutes.  Brush a final coat of orange marmalade all over the duck. Cover with the lid if using a roaster, Turn off the oven and let the duck stand for 10 minutes.

Remove the duck from the pan and place on a craving board and allow to rest for at least 10-15 minutes before cutting or craving.

To serve for 2: Cut duck in half using sharp scissors or poultry shears. Remove backbone by cutting along one side and then the other, then cut along breastbone. For 4: Cut each half into breast and leg sections.

Place each duck portion on a warm plate. For complete meal, serve with a generous mound of rice next to it, lay orange slices around it,  and a green vegetable like green beans or steamed asparagus, or roasted Brussels sprouts, and ladle on sauce.

 

 

Cook’s Notes:

If you don’t have any Grand Marnier on hand,  Cointreau or triple sec are suitable substitutes.

downloadI like to roast my duck in a Granite Ware Enameled Dutch Oven, that I inherited from my Grandmother. I don’t even know if they still make them or not. For me, using this type of cookware always produced a moist bird, whether you are roasting a duck, a chicken or a turkey. You can perfectly roast your duck without one, using a shallow roasting pan and that is perfectly fine.

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Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Balsamic Roasted Strawberries

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For me, one of the fun things about cooking is thinking outside of box and combining flavors to create a wholesome yet interesting  dish. Sometimes, you get to combine ingredients and flavors that don’t seem like they should go together. Yes, of course, this  can sound a bit strange, like dill pickles and maple syrup. But let’s consider meat and fruit. You might recall some classic dishes, such as turkey with cranberry sauce, lemon pepper chicken, and more. These familiar meat and fruit pairings are delicious, yet the idea of using both fruit and meal in the same dish is undoubtedly a little controversial. You might know that someone who cannot forgive the crime of putting pineapples and ham on pizza.

However, let’s not worry about that….for now.

Intuitively, there are some meat and fruit combinations that  you might not consider  to be perfect flavor companions, but you will find that their sweet and salty relationship does work: fruit adds a sweetness or even tartness to the salty meat. The main challenge with fruit and meat is finding the right combinations. When the right types of fruit and meat are paired with each other, this extra contrasting dimension enhances the flavor and appeal of the dish.

So that brings us full circle back around to pork and strawberries.

Pork comes in many forms and when paired with fruit, the combinations are endless.Traditionally, pork pairs well with fruits like apples, apricots, cranberries, currants, dried cherries, dried figs, mangoes, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums,  and even quice. But  very few people will intutively think  of  strawberries being paired with pork. The technique of roasting brings out the sweetness in strawberries, making them a delicious accompaniment to spice-rubbed, pan-seared pork chops.This unusual  combination will not only impress yourself  but your family as well.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Strawberries:
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved widthwise
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste

For the Pork Chops:
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
¼ tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
Four  1 ½ – 2 pounds bone-in center cut pork chops
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment. On prepared pan, toss the strawberries with the shallots, brown sugar, and oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Roast 10–12 minutes, until strawberries are soft.

Season on both sides of the pork chops  with salt . To  a small bowl, add  the cumin, coriander, and cayenne. Mix to combine. Rub the seasoning all over the pork chops. Make sure to wash your hands. 

In a large cast iron skillet, add the oil and heat on medium high until the oil is shimmering. Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook 5 minutes per side, until cooked through. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.

To serve, arrange the pork chops on a platter and ladle the roasted strawberries on top of the chops. Garnish with the mint and enjoy.

 

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Chicken Marsala (Pollo al Marsala)

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Marsala is an indigenous fortified wine frequently used in Sicilian cooking.  There are two varieties of Marsala – sweet and dry.  Sweet Marsala is savored as a desert wine and used mainly for making desserts.  Dry Marsala, which is less sweet, is enjoyed as an aperitif and used for making savory dishes.

Chicken Marsala is typically made with chicken breasts but it can also be made using the whole chicken or just the thighs and drumsticks.  This is a basic recipe with a variation in  using pancetta and  mushrooms. For those who like the layer of flavors,  the earthiness of the mushrooms and Marsala complement each other.  This dish is delicious served over spaghetti, noodles, or mashed potatoes.

 

Serves 4

Ingredients:
One 3-4 pound chicken, washed and cut into 8-10 pieces
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced pancetta
8 ounces sliced white or cremini mushrooms
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup dry Marsala
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

 

Directions:

Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels.

Heat the olive oil and half of the butter in a large, deep-skillet or Dutch oven over high heat.

Working in 2 batches, add half of the chicken pieces and brown on both sides, about 6 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to a platter and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium-high.  Add the onion, pancetta, and garlic to the skillet.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until onions become soft and translucent.  Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly, sprinkle in the flour and stir until combined.

Stir in the Marsala, chicken stock, and parsley.  Add in the chicken pieces, cover with a lid, and simmer for approximately 40 minutes, until chicken is tender.

Transfer the chicken pieces to a serving platter.  Stir remaining butter and lemon juice into the sauce.

To serve, spoon sauce over the chicken.  Sprinkle with additional minced parsley if desired.

 

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All photographs and content, excepted where noted, are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!