I'm sure that I am right in believing that in every family there are certain recipes that you associate with particular people. Whether it is their favourite food, or something that they cooked for you, there are definitely meals that are very evocative of brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, aunts, or others in your life. In my family, this recipe is widely referred to as Dave's Duck, because it was my brother Dave that introduced it to us all. While the duck is pretty simple to make, it is extremely delicious, and certainly has a bit of a "wow" factor attached. Because this recipe calls for only duck breasts, it is also a lot easier than cooking a whole duck, and it certainly plates up beautifully.
Enjoying a relatively peaceful weekend, Dave's Duck with a nice glass of pinot noir seemed a perfect way to spend Saturday evening. The usual vegetable served with the duck is a sweet potato mash, with rocket leaves stirred in and allowed to wilt. Because our Barefoot Bloggers challenge for this week was a risotto cake (recipe tomorrow), I used that as a side dish instead of the mash, but also served a rocket salad on the side. And my only tip is not to overcook the duck - it is much better served pink and tender. (Incidentally, if you want to prepare this for a dinner party, you can brown the duck breasts in the pan before your guests arrive, and finish off in the oven in the 10 minutes or so before you want to serve it). The recipe comes from a 1998 Australian Gourmet Traveller cookbook called "Gourmet On The Run"; sadly I can't find a reference to it in any of the usual cookbook shops. PS Dave - we miss you!
Roasted Duck Breast With Orange Sauceadapted from "Gourmet: On The Run" edited by Carolyn Lockhart
4 duck breasts
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbl soy sauce
2 tbl honey
Juice of 2 oranges
2/3 cup chicken stock
2 tsps brandy
1/2 carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
Marinate 4 duck breasts in 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbls soy sauce and 2 tbl honey for 1 hour. Heat a heavy frying pan over medium to high heat and brown duck well. Transfer duck to a roasting pan and roast skin-side up at 200C for 10-15 mins for duck that is tender but still pink.
Meanwhile combine orange juice, 1 tbl soy sauce, chicken stock, brandy, and vegetables, in a small saucepan. Boil over high heat until reduced by half. Serve duck with sauce poured over it.