Canard a l'orange
I am a confessed carnivore. I love meat, I love cooking with meat. I have a philosophy of life that, seeing I cannot stop myself from eating meat and fish, I must cook the animals that have lost their lives in order to feed me, in the best possible way, thus honoring them. Sound stupid? It makes perfect sense to me. Thus said, duck is one of my fave poultry ever. And it begs to be properly cooked. Duck with orange is one of the oldest ways, a true classic, and one of the easiest to achieve. Care to take notes and try this at home?
Grab a hold of two duck legs and sear them in a frying pan, preferably one that can go in the oven afterwards - I don't own one of those frying pans, so what I do is sear the meat in a normal frying pan and then pass it on to an oven dish, and it works quite well, takes only a little longer and you end up with more dishes to wash, but hey! When the duck skin is seared through and has a little colour, cut up an orange in wedges and toss them with the duck. Season well, with salt and pepper, and pop everything in the oven, at 180º or 200º depending on your own oven, you'll know better what temps are the proper ones to cook with in your oven. Grab a few new potatoes - I don't bother peeling new potatoes, their skin is tender and full of good vitamins, just make sure you rinse them thoroughly under cold water - and toss them in a pan of cold water with a little salt. Bring that pan to a boil and let the potatoes cook lightly. You want them to be slightly more tender, but still quite firm. Once they've reached that point, turn off the heat and get them off the hot water so they stop cooking. By now your duck is reaching the perfect roasting point, as duck is better if it is medium cooked - I hate rare meat, and duck tends to get chewy and hard if it's rare, at least for me, but you must cook it as you prefer to eat it. - and you will then need to take it out of the oven and move it to a dish, covering meat and oranges with foil paper so they don't get cold, thus allowing the meat to rest for at least ten minutes. Now, if you look at the frying pan or oven dish where you cooked your meat, you'll notice that, even thou you have added no fat whatsoever, the bottom is covered in a golden liquid that has dripped from the duck fat as it cooked. Get this on a burner on your stove and heat up well, and then toss your potatoes in it and let them fry. They'll be crunchy and caramelized and oh so good, trust me. While these are finishing up, get a hold of a bunch of spinach leaves and rabe (rapini) leaves and chop them in chunky bits - I usually go for the frozen ones, as veggies tend to be at their best when they're picked for freezing, conserving that way all of their nutrients and vitamins, contrary to those one buys fresh at the supermarket that have been put to cold storage for quite some time, losing their nutritional qualities and getting dry and flaky - finely chop a garlic clove and in a little bit of oil fry it up. Add the greens and let them cook slightly, tossing them around the garlic infused oil. Season it with salt and pepper, and once the potatoes and the greens are done, serve up with the duck and the orange wedges. You won't be sorry you tried this, I guarantee!