Duck breast recipe with orange sauce

Duck breast with orange sauce

Duck breasts, magrets de canard or simply just magrets, are popular in France. The dark and strong flesh of duck goes very well with sweeter sauces and fruit; duck with orange is a classic combination.
I have always found pan-frying duck breasts and pouring away the hot fat halfway in the cooking a bit complicated method, at least if you are cooking for four or six people. So I was eager to try oven roasting them as was recommended on the package. It turned out so well that I am going to use this method more often.
The orange sauce in this recipe is my favourite variation. I like to serve duck breasts simply with new potatoes and some vegetables. Steamed broccoli florets or Brussels sprouts are nice in this recipe.

4 servings

2 duck breasts, magrets
2 oranges, pressed into juice
4 tsp good orange marmalade, such as Florian confiture d’orange
2 tsp red wine vinegar
Black pepper, freshly ground
Fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp corn flour diluted in a small amount of water

Preheat the oven to 200 ⁰ C.

Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Choose a tray with walls because the duck breasts give away quite a lot of hot fat. The fat solidifies eventually and is easier to discard the next day.

Criss-cross the fatty skin of the duck breasts. Place them in the baking tray flesh-side down. Roast in oven for 15 minutes, then turn and continue cooking a further 15 minutes, skin-side down this time. Remove the breasts from the baking tray and place them on a carving plate. Keep them warm under foil and slice after a while.

Meanwhile cook the sauce. Press the oranges and simmer the juice in a small casserole. Whisk in the marmalade and red wine vinegar. Add some thyme leaves, save the rest for the decoration, and grind in some black pepper. Whisk the corn flour in a small amount of water until smooth. Use it to thicken the sauce as needed; you may not need to use it all.

Divide the sauce on the plates and place the duck breast slices on the sauce. Divide the new potatoes and vegetables on the plates and decorate with thyme leaves.


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