Orange season is upon us! I love how sweet the oranges get this time of year and how their rich and tangy flavour can lend a savoury dish so much depth.
I really enjoy duck and as we all know, it pairs so well with orange. So, I will tell you how you can take the typical duck and orange combination to the next level with an Asian twist.
- 2 duck breasts (150 gms each)
- ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- ½ tablespoon duck fat
- 2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- ¼ teaspoon ginger grated
- 2 garlic cloves grated
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of sugar
How to cook the perfect duck breast
Score your duck breast by placing a very sharp knife gently against the skin, pulling it towards you and aiming for a crosshatch pattern. The scores should be around ½ cm apart which helps to render the duck fat. Be careful not to cut through the skin entirely and expose the flesh.
Season the duck breast generously with coarse sea salt and pepper, then place the duck breasts skin side down in a cold skillet. Place a cooking weight or another pan onto the breast so as to ensure it cooks evenly on the skin side down. Turn on the gas to medium heat and watch your breast skin render all that fat. There should be a gentle bubbling of the fat in the pan.
After about 15 minutes, skin side down, your duck skin should be super crispy with an internal temperature of around 50OC. Pour out all that duck fat and place the duck back into the pan flesh side down for another 5 minutes or until internal temperature of 60OC. Lift from the pan and set aside to rest.
Orange sauce step-by-step
This sauce is super easy! Pour a little bit of that rendered duck fat into a pan and sauté the garlic and ginger for a minute before you add all the other ingredients. Simmer on medium heat for about five minutes or so until it thickens. Taste and then season as per your preference with salt and sugar.
Allow your duck breast to rest for 10–15 minutes before carving into slices. Serve with a drizzle of orange sauce, steamed rice and some cucumbers for good measure. A little bit of fresh coriander for garnish and flavour will also go a long way here.
Joy Entry is a Malaysian home cook based in Lagos who is obsessed with the provocative, unapologetic flavours of South-East Asian cuisine