Roast Duck à l'Orange
Artisanal and Brennan's Seafood and Chop House
1 tablespoon juniper berries
6 pieces star anise
1 and 3/4 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 and 1/2 cinnamon sticks
1 and 3/4 tablespoons cardamom pods
1 and 1/4 tablespoons whole allspice
1 and 1/4 tablespoons whole clove
1 and 1/4 cups honey
2 5-to-5 and 1/2-pound Long Island ducks
4 oranges, cut into quarters
2 cups orange juice
1 cup veal stock (organic-chicken stock can be substituted)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon butter
Toast all the spices in a dry skillet over medium heat until they start to give off a fragrant aroma, about 2 minutes, shaking the pan often to avoid burning. Crush the cardamom pods, allspice, and star anise.
Fill a large stockpot with 1 gallon of water. Add all the spices and honey to the water and bring to a boil over high heat.
Meanwhile, stuff the cavity of each duck with 8 orange quarters. Truss the ducks and prick the entire surface of the skin with a fork, taking care not to puncture the flesh. Put the ducks into the pot and simmer for 12 minutes, placing a plate on top of the birds to keep them submerged. (If your pot is too small to hold both ducks, cook them one at a time.) Remove the ducks from the liquid, drain their cavities, and set them on a rack in a roasting pan to cool. Place them in the refrigerator, uncovered, to air-dry for 1 to 3 days.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the ducks from the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature. Place in the oven and roast for 1 and 3/4 to 2 hours, until dark golden brown and crispy, with an internal temperature of 170 degrees. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for 20 to 25 minutes before serving. If you need to crisp up the skin, place the ducks under the broiler for a minute or two. Serve with glazed turnips and braised mustard greens or turnip tops.
Sauce for duck: Place the orange juice in a 2-quart saucepan and reduce by two thirds over medium heat, about 8 minutes. Add the veal stock, bay leaf, peppercorns, and thyme to the pan and reduce by half, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and strain through a fine sieve. Whisk the butter into the sauce, and season to taste with salt.
Orange marmalade (optional):
Spice sachet: 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon whole cumin, 4 green cardamom pods, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 star anise, 2 whole cloves
4 oranges, cut into a small dice, seeds removed
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup simple syrup (1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar, brought to a simmer)
Toast all the spices in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan often to avoid burning, until they start to give off a fragrant aroma, about 2 minutes. Put the spices on a square of cheesecloth and tie up the edges with string to make a sachet.
Place the oranges, juice, and simple syrup in a large saucepan, add the sachet, and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, or until the oranges are tender and the liquid has thickened.
Photograph by William Meppem