Monday, March 23, 2009

The Rain and Duck L'Orange

You probably can't tell from looking at this picture, but the rain is just dripping off the trees outside my tree house. I like the rain. I'm used to it. Everyone born here on the We(s)t Coast of British Columbia is secretly born with duck feet. Oh, yes, we are. This is the rainforest and we have the tallest trees in the world. And we have duck feet.

Speaking of duck, I have been invited out for dinner tomorrow, to a restaurant that specializes in ... ta-da ... duck, one of my favorite dishes. I have a friend whom I have known since we were about 15 years old, and approximately once a decade we get together for a visit. My friend will be in town tomorrow, for one day, and has invited me for dinner. We haven't seen each other in almost eight years, so I wonder if we will recognize each other. Well, I guess all I have to do is start laughing, and I will be completely recognizable.

Duck L'Orange is one of those retro classic comfort foods that everyone loves. I made it one year for Thanksgiving dinner (don't ask me why...) and I was surprised at how good it was. Here's a typical recipe:

2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice, about 6 oranges, orange rinds reserved
1 (5-pound) duck, cleaned, with innards, wing tips and excess fat removed
2 oranges, zested
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Peychaud Bitters
1 1/2 cups duck or chicken stock
2 tablespoons arrowroot dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup Grand Marnier liqueur

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Roughly chop the orange rinds and place in the cleaned duck cavity. Place the stuffed duck on a baking rack over a baking sheet with 1/2-inch of water. Bake until skin turns golden brown and lightly crisps, about 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 300 degrees and continue cooking until duck reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees, about 1 hour.

In a medium heavy saucepan combine the orange juice, zest and sugar over medium high heat and reduce to 3/4 cup. Add Peychaud Bitters to orange juice gastrique and set aside. Add hot duck stock to reduced orange gastrique and simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes to reduce. Add arrowroot mixture, to thicken.

Remove duck from roasting pan, and discard the fat from pan. Remove orange rinds from duck cavity. Let rest 10 minutes before carving. Add the Grand Marnier to roasting pan and place over 2 burners on medium high heat. Deglaze pan, scraping continuously with a large wooden spoon. Reduce for 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the orange sauce in the pan into a gravy boat and serve with carved duck.

I'll be back to visit with everyone soon.


Deb said...

I've never had duck before, the recipe sounds good, rain is suppose to be headed our way this week

Donnetta said...

I'm growing hungry. Duck, duck, duck, goose. I think I have some chicken in the kitchen. Certainly not the special dish--but, as Granny would say, fills the hollow spot. Okay. Headed for a snack. Have a good time with old friend and a tasty meal. D

Leslie: said...

Omigosh, enjoy the duck! I really like it, too, once in a while.

Tonight we're christening our new barbecue! Lorne's cooking ribs with his own (from scratch) sauce! Yummy...I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

roxanne s. sukhan said...

Well, I am a transplant ~ born in Winnipeg and then moved here 6 years ago. But, yes, my feet are webbed like a duck's ... and just about waterproof. I don't mind the rain ~ its what makes the grass so green.

Enjoy your duck a l'orange.

Unknown said...

Yum Yum. I have never had it but always hear about it. Have fun with your friend!

introspection said...

Never had duck to eat. Turkey for thanks giving is a given, but duck is new. I like the recipe, so I will supplement the duch with chicken. Worth it I hope.

Bon apetite for your dinner. Have fun, and dont forget to laugh...!
ha ha.

TheChicGeek said...

Yummy, mmmmmmm, I love duck! Thanks for the nice recipe.
When I was a kid my dad made duck one year and literally burned down our kitche! Fire trucks, smoke, the whole nine yards. My mom was happy though because she got a new kitchen out of the deal :)

lovelyprism said...

I don't really care much for duck but the picture sure is pretty. You know what they say, presentation is everything! Have a nice visit!

SweetPeaSurry said...

I've never had Duck a L'orange, but that picture sure makes it look mighty tasty!

Firefly the Travel Guy said...

Ooooo... That looks lip smackingly lekker (tasty).

KathyB. said...

Yes, we in the Pacific Northwest do have webbed feet, but shhh... don't tell anyone! That is why Birkenstocks are so popular here, webbed feet fit into them perfectly.

I don't think your friend will have any trouble recognizing you, on viewing your pictures of you as a little girls I can see the same smile and twinkle in the eyes as I see in your current photo....

Won't it be nice to dine out with an old and valued friend, eat good food, and laugh and reminisce? Hope the duck is cooked and served to perfection and the evening is far better than you could have imagined.

Canarybird said...

Oh yes we west coasters do have webbed feet don't we, even though I don't live there any more. You know what else they say....Vancouverites don't tan...they rust!

Duck a l'Orange was a dish I learned to make in Vancouver and we love it!
It's also good cooked with cranberry sauce. Enjoy your meal and have a lovely time with your friend Jo!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Yum! Thanks for the recipe and hope you have a wonderful evening.

scarlethue said...

that almost makes me wish I ate duck :)

Paula Slade said...

I LOVE DUCK and your recipe sounds fabulous!! I will definitely give it a go! :)