Love in the Kitchen - making fast, healthy, homegrown meals you'll enjoy

Monday, January 10, 2011

Experiment: Duck!

Some time ago, my father-in-law brought me a whole duck. Frozen. So I put it in my freezer and there it sat, mocking me. Really, that's what it did.

You see, I've never made duck before, and I was worried that it wouldn't taste good, or would be difficult to cook... I'd read that it was a very fatty bird and would make my house smell funny when I cooked it.

(I think I may read too much.)

Enter Ott, A's Iron Chef Challenge - with this month's ingredient: DUCK!  I figured this was a great opportunity to try a new recipe, alleviate my duck-cooking fears, or at the very least, get that duck to stop mocking me from my freezer.

I wanted to make Duck l'Orange.  We ate that every Christmas Eve when I was a kid, so I knew what it should taste like.

The first step is to stuff the duck with apple and season the duck.

You'll roast the duck at 350*F until it reaches 185*F. And in the meantime, assemble the ingredients for the orange sauce. A good spicy mango chutney adds a key flavor to the sauce. My recipe calls for peach preserves (though I think next time I'll use orange marmalade to give the sauce a stronger orange flavor.)

Once the duck is close to done cooking, mix all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and boil until the alcohol burns off and the sauce begins to thicken... about 6 minutes.

Take the duck out of the oven. I have to say, this smelled amazing!

If you are lucky, you can get someone who knows what they are doing to carve your duck. The Mr carved ours.

While The Mr was busy carving, I got the rest of the dinner together - some peas picked fresh from our garden that afternoon...

... and freshly baked bread...

... I love fresh Italian bread.

Spoon the sauce over the duck once you have carved it.  I expect it will look something like this:

This meal was fantastic.  I loved the sauce - spicy and sweet.  And the duck was tender and rich, and did not taste fatty or gamy.  My father-in-law said it was the best duck he'd ever had!  Even The Girl said "The duck doesn't taste bad" which is high praise indeed out of a 13-year-old's mouth.

Here's the recipe:

Duck l'Orange


For the duck
1 duck
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 large granny smith apples
2 cloves garlic
2 sage leaves
1 teaspoon light olive oil

Orange Sauce
4 tablespoons spicy mango chutney
2 tablespoons peach preserves
1 oranges, juice of
3 tablespoons of duck drippings, from pan
1/4 cup red wine


Sprinkle chili powder, garlic powder, and salt all over ducks.

Cut 1-inch slice in skin of ducks on both sides of breasts.

Puree garlic, sage and olive oil and fill in slices in skin with mixture.

Chop apple into 1-inch pieces and stuff inside ducks.

Bake at 350*F (175*C) for 1 hour 30 minutes for a slightly rare duck, or 2 hours for a well done duck.

Put the ingredients for the L'Orange sauce in saucepan and heat until alcohol simmers off, about 6 minutes.

Serve L'Orange sauce over sliced duck breasts or other parts.

I will definitely make this again. Thanks to Ott,A for challenging us to use an ingredient I hadn't used before!

Mhnaty! Pin It


  1. i think you're amaizing to pull off this dish. I don't know what you were so afraid of as that duck look delish!!!! I love all the flavors in the sauce and can just imagine how it would all taste together. This recipe I am using the next time I make duck!!!!!