This post has been sponsored by D’Artagnan Foods, however, all opinions and thoughts expressed here are my own.
I found the most quaint French restaurant during a trip to Paris a couple of years ago. It was the kind of French restaurant a person envisions when they think of Paris.
It was warm and cozy, with a quintessential French waiter welcoming patrons in with a hearty bonjour. The walls were made up of natural stone, and the ceilings had big, wooden beams protruding from it.
It was also a restaurant that served an incredible duck with orange sauce, which I was delighted to discover.
Duck is as common in France as chicken is in America, but finding a perfectly done magret de canard à l’orange (duck breast in orange sauce) is not as prevalent.
The little Parisian restaurant made spectacular duck with orange sauce, and it’s become a go-to whenever I visit the City of Lights.
Duck in France is typically very tasty, no matter what part of the duck is used, or what sauce it’s cooked with. This is because the French use high-quality, well-fed ducks. If they’re using duck breasts (magret), they use a type of duck called Moulard.
This is much different than the duck breasts that are found in the U.S., which are typically of the White Pekin variety. Moulard duck meat tastes much less “game-y” and instead tastes very much like beef.
When I purchase magret in the U.S., I order from my trusted source, D’Artagnan. If you’ve never heard of D’Artagnan, let me give you a brief introduction.
The award-winning company has been one of the leaders of the farm-to-table movement, offering all natural, organic poultry and game, free-range meat, charcuterie, foie gras, wild mushrooms, and truffle. It’s my go-to, gourmet food resource when I’m away from France. They never fail to deliver superior quality and uncompromising standards.
Plus, the company delivers to all 50 states in the U.S., and operates both online from their website, and from several partnered retailers, including Wegmans and ShopRite, to name a couple.
To create this duck with orange sauce, I had 2 Moulard magret duck breasts delivered to me, fresh and ready to be prepped. I scored and seasoned the duck breasts, then grilled them in a hot pan until they were cooked through.
I wrapped the duck breasts in foil and let them rest while I prepared the accompanying orange sauce, using the residual duck fat in the pan. The entire recipe uses 7 ingredients, including the duck, salt, and pepper.
Traditionally, orange sauce for the duck is prepared with a mixture of oranges and sugar, but I like to use a short-cut. Instead, I simply use homemade orange marmalade since I always have some in stock. You can easily use store-bought marmalade as well with no problems.
The duck with orange sauce tastes absolutely mouthwatering once it’s ready. There’s a reason duck can be considered indulgent; it’s rich, but in an entirely satisfying way.
Not only is the orange sauce a tantalizing, sweet addition to the duck breasts, but the actual duck itself is delectable too. You could definitely enjoy the duck as is, no sauce needed, if you really wanted to. After one bite, it will be no secret that you’ve used the best of the best to create this meal!
- 2 Moulard magret duck breasts
- salt, about 1 tsp, to taste
- pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 1 orange, supremed
for the sauce
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup orange marmalade
- Using a sharp knife, score the skin-side of the duck breasts. To do this, make diagonal cuts going one way in the duck breasts, then diagonal cuts going the opposite way. You should end up with diamond cuts in the duck breast skin, and the cuts should be about a quarter inch deep.
- Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper, using a scant 1/4 tsp of salt per side of duck breast and a small pinch of pepper.
- Heat a cast-iron pan over medium heat. Once the pan is very hot, place the duck breasts, skin-side down, into the pan and grill for 8 minutes, or until it's nicely seared. Flip and grill for another 8 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 165°F. If the breasts still need to cook, continue flipping the breasts every 2 minutes, as needed. Loosely wrap the duck breasts in foil and let them rest for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, begin by using the supreme technique on your orange. To do this, cut off a portion of skin from the top and bottom of the orange. Use a sharp knife to remove the orange skin and white pith, following the curve of the orange. Then follow the membrane lines to cut the orange sections/wedges out. Set aside.
- Remove about 1 tablespoon of duck fat from the cast-iron pan and discard. In a large measuring cup, combine the chicken stock, orange juice, and cornstarch, whisking to combine. Pour this mixture into the pan with the duck fat, and warm over medium-low heat. Add the marmalade and let the mixture come to a simmer.
- Once the sauce has come to a simmer, strain the sauce using a mesh sieve. Slice the duck breasts at a diagonal and arrange with orange slices in between. Pour the sauce over the duck and serve.
Optional sides include mashed potatoes or gratin dauphinois.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 2 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 618