Orange Braised Duck
We start by preparing the duck a day in advance, cutting out the backbone (and roasting it to save for stock in the next few weeks), then cutting through the breastbone to separate the duck into two halves. The half ducks are seasoned with salt and pepper and put in the refrigerator overnight.
Duck separated, seasoned, and refrigerated
The next day, we preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and prepare the roasting pan with sections of celery, carrots, and onions, covered by thyme, parsley, and cilantro. We squeeze the juice of an orange into the pan and add the orange quarters and a bay leaf. The duck goes on top of this mixture, followed by a cup (250 ml) of white wine. The pan is covered tightly with aluminum foil and baked for 2 and 1/2 to three hours.
Prepare pan, add duck
The duck is then transferred to a cutting board, carved, and served.
Ready to serve
While the duck is braising, we prepare roasted duck fat potatoes by parboiling small round Yukon Gold potatoes for 5 minutes, then cooling them, cutting them in half, and coating them with a mixture of cornmeal and flour. The oven is preheated to 450°F (230°C) and a fry pan with a light layer of duck fat is warmed in the oven. Once the duck fat is hot, the potatoes are added, cut side down, and baked for 30 minutes. They are then turned over and baked another 20 minutes or so, then removed, drained, and served. What a great combination!
Becoming a duck fat potato
The duck is plated, the potatoes served, the wine (Zinfandel) is poured, and we are ready to eat. The kitchen (and the whole house) as been full of great smells for hours and it is time to enjoy!
Dinner is served