There are some French dishes that just seem too intimidating to attempt. For many, duck à l’orange is one of them, but trust me when I tell you it’s actually quite approachable. The flavors meld so effortlessly that it’s hard to mess up, and the result is sure to impress.
Serve this as your main course at Christmas dinner and watch the compliments come flooding in!
Duck à l’Orange with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans
Yields: 4 servings
- 2 duck breasts
- 1 orange
- The juice of 2 oranges
- ½ tbsp sugar
- ½ tbsp red wine vinegar
- 10 cl chicken stock
- 1 tsp Grand Marnier
- 1 ½ tsp cornstach
- salt & pepper
- 500 gr potatoes
- 5cl milk
- 5cl olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 400 gr fresh green beans
To prepare the duck à l’orange:
Wash the orange, then remove and julienne the zest into thin strips. Scald the sliced zest in boiling water for two minutes, then rinse and drain with cold water. Thoroughly remove the rest of the orange peel and slice the orange.
Place the sugar and the vinegar in a saucepan over low heat until it reaches a caramel consistency with a dark golden color. Next, add the chicken stock, orange juice, and zest. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 20 minutes over low heat.
Meanwhile, score the skins of the duck breasts and season with salt and pepper. Heat a Dutch oven or a large skillet over high heat. Place the duck breasts skin side down on the pan and sear for 2 minutes over high heat, then reduce to low heat and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Flip the duck breasts and cook for another 3 minutes (for medium rare), then remove from heat and rest on aluminum foil.
In a small bowl, combine the Grand Marnier and cornstarch. Incorporate the mixture into the sauce over low heat, stirring constantly. Add the orange slices and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
To plate the duck breasts, cut them into slices and drizzle with sauce.
To prepare the sides:
Peel the potatoes and cut them into large cubes. Rinse, then boil in salted water for about 20 minutes, or until they are fork-tender.
Drain the potatoes, then mash with the milk (warmed in a microwave or on the stove), salt, and pepper using a potato masher or a fork.
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat, then add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the garlic and olive oil to the potatoes, mix with a fork or potato masher, and serve.
Stalk the green beans by breaking off each end with your fingers, removing any stringy filaments.
Put the green beans into a steaming basket over boiling water, cover, and cook until nice and tender, about 20 minutes. The best way to judge whether the green beans are cooked is to taste them: they should still be slightly crisp.