Sliced duck breast with orange marmalade sauce 鴨のオレンジママレイドソース

japanese cake

This is my simplified version of Duck a l’Orange. As Japanese believe scallions and ducks are the ultimate combo, the French view classic duck cuisine as canard a l’Orange. Since I was not up to going through with authentic recipes and a roasted duck breast is by itself quite wonderful even without a sauce, I just made an instant sauce using orange marmalade.

I cook duck breast in a classic way. I first clean the breast (remove excess fat and remove any silver skin still attached). I score the skin in a cross hatch pattern (see below) so that fat will render more easily. I rub it with salt (I use Kosher salt) and black pepper liberally since lots come off during the cooking. In a dry frying pan on a medium-low flame, put the duck breast skin side down, after few minutes, fat will come out. You have to remove the excess fat either by tipping the pan or absorbing it using paper towels few times. After 6-7 minutes and the skin is nicely brown and crisp like the image below, turn it over. I place it in a preheated 400F oven for 6-8 minutes or to the doneness of your liking (I cooked for 6 minutes to medium rare. The image below is when the duck just came out from the oven). I then remove the duck breast on a plate, cover it with aluminum foil. If you have rendered the fat properly and removed the excess fat before your place the duck in the oven, there should not be too much excess fat but if you do, leave only 1-2 tsp of fat in the pan. I add minced shallots (one small) and saute for a few minutes and then deglaze it with 1-2 tsp of red wine vinegar and let it reduce almost dry and add 4-5 tbs of port wine (I use a cheap Taylor ruby port) and reduce by half to 1/3 of the original volume. I finish the sauce with 2-3 tbs of orange marmalade. You could add pats of cold butter but I did not. I squeeze fresh lime juice or, if you have one, fresh orange juice, at the very end (just a splash) to add fresh citrus favor to the sauce.

This sauce has enough orangy, citrus flavors with sweet and sour tastes. It is definitely a classic combo and will particularly go well with red wines, especially syrah or shiraz. We had this with d’Arenberg “The Dead Arm” Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia 2006, a perfect pairing!

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