I have been waiting for quite a while to make this recipe, as I wanted to be true to the original intention and use sour oranges for the sauce. So many recipes advised adding vinegar to sweet orange juice, but it just didn't feel right to me. This is a fancy French dish, and vinegar seemed a little...cheap. But that also means you have to wait until you can pick up some sour oranges at the store, which for me meant waiting until Seville oranges showed up. The marinade adds a nice flavor to the duck, and the three different liqueurs in the sauce add a nice depth. However, a lot of work for moderate results.
Note: I thought 2½ hours to roast the duck was a bit long, and it felt a little overdone to me, especially if you like your duck on the medium-rare side. If I made this again, I would watch the internal temperature a little closer and pull it out when it was at my desired temperature. Just cooking the breasts may also be an option. I also thought the sauce was a bit thin, so I'd probably work on thickening it more the next time.
Canard a l'Orange (Duck in Orange Sauce)
Adapted from Andrew Zimmern and Larousse Gastronomique
1 (4- to 5-pound) duck
1 sweet orange (such as Valencia), cut into quarters
3 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
1 large shallot, minced, sautéed in 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
3 tablespoons Mandarin liqueur
3 tablespoons apricot liqueur
Grated zest of 1 Seville orange
1 cup Seville orange juice
4 cups duck stock
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
3 sweet oranges (such as Valencia), supremed
Combine the orange juice, honey, and 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice powder.
Prick the duck all over with a sharp fork and loosen the skin with your fingers. Place the duck in a large pot and massage with the marinade. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours.
Remove the duck from the marinade and pat dry inside and out; discard the marinade. Set the duck on a rack set over a roasting pan and refrigerate uncovered for 24 hours. Remove the duck from the refrigerator 2 hours before roasting.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Stuff the quartered orange into the duck's cavity. Season with salt and sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon of five spice powder over the duck. Roast the duck for about 2½ hours, until the skin is deeply golden and crisp: Every 45 minutes, tilt the duck over a bowl to drain the liquid from the cavity, then replace it on the rack. Prick the skin to release the fat and baste the duck with the fat in the pan.
Makes 2 to 4 servings