We had a couple of cool days this past week. Duck hunting season is just around the corner. Here is a wonderful duck recipe. It uses one of my favorite ingredients, cane syrup. Of course, I only use Steen’s.
For the Duck
1 5 pound Duckling
1 Onion, quartered
1 medium Orange (or Satsuma, a Louisiana madarin), zested (reserving the zest), quartered, and pips discarded
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Sage
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Thyme
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
For the Orange Sauce
2 cups fresh-squeezed Orange or Satsuma juice
1 cup Cane Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
2 medium Shallots, minced
1/4 cup Cane Syrup
2 cups Chicken Stock
2 tablespoons Butter, softened
Prepare the Duck
Rinse the duckling under running water, pat it dry, and trim away some of the excess fat around the cavity. Stuff the bird with the onion and orange quarters and tie the legs close with string.
In a small bowl, mix together the orange zest, sage, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Prick the skin lightly all over and rub generously with the herb mixture. Set the duckling aside at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate overnight.
Place a 13×9 inch roasting pan in the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Place the duckling, breast side up, in the preheated roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400 degrees. Turn the duckling over, baste, and roast for another 30 minutes. Turn the duckling so it is breast side up again, baste and roast for another 30 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and juices run clear when you prick the thigh. Remove from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes.
Begin the sauce as soon as the duck is in the oven
Making the Orange Cany-Syrup Sauce
In a small saucepan, bring to a boil the orange juice, vinegar, and shallots. Reduce the heat to a simmer until the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup and whisk in the cane syrup. Pour half over the mixture into a small bowl, reserving it for basting the duckling.
In another saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the stock is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Whisk in remaining half of the juice mixture and simmer for about 7 minutes, or until slightly syrupy.
Whisk in the butter, a tablespoon at a time, until you have a light creamy sauce. Taste for seasoning and add a little more salt if necessary. The sauce should be balanced between sweet and tart. If too tart, add a little more syrup. Set aside while the duckling finshes roasting.
Serve the duckling whole or remove the breast and legs, serving the breast meat sliced and the legs whole. Spoon the orange sauce over the duckling or serve warm on the side.