I was very excited to see the first of the blood orange juice for the season at the Capital Region Farmers’ Market. I had dropped by my favourite citrus provider to buy a glass of the best possible orange juice, but got very excited when I saw the blood orange juice and bought that instead. I love to drink it with sparkling water. With some duck stock in the fridge, I thought I could make a blood orange twist on the old duck a l’orange. It turned out beautifully. The heart of celery is underloved and underutilised. I figured it would partner well in a salad with some shave baby fennel. Indeed, the salad made the perfect accompaniment to the duck breasts.
|2||tablespoons||blood orange juice*|
|1||bunch||celery, only the pale yellow stalks and leaves from the centre of the bunch|
|1||teaspoon||blood orange juice**|
|1||teaspoon||extra virgin olive oil|
*replace with equal parts pink grapefruit juice and orange juice, or straight orange juice
** replace with pink grapefruit juice or a half the quantity of red wine vinegar
To make the sauce, place the duck stock in a small saucepan and simmer gently till reduced by two thirds. Add the blood orange juice and reduce till thickened. Add the Grand Marnier and flambé to burn off the alcohol. Season to taste.
To make the salad, shave the baby fennel on a mandolin or the long thin blade on your vegetable grater. Thinly slice the stalks and leaves from the pale heart of the celery. Combine the fennel and celery with the blood orange juice and extra virgin olive oil. Combine and season to taste.
To cook the duck breasts, place them skin side down in a cold, non stick frying pan. Place the frying pan on a medium heat and cook till the fat is rendered and the skin is crisp and golden. Increase the heat and turn the duck breasts over, till they are just coloured on the other side. Remove from the heat and rest for 1-2 minutes.
To serve, arrange a pile of salad on each plate, rest a duck breast and pour over the warmed sauce. Enjoy.