When I was invited to a dinner hosted by Chef Jean-François Piège, he described how his previous elaborate style of cooking at the Hôtel de Crillon had evolved into something a lot more simple and homely at his current restaurant in the Hôtel Thoumieux. He told an amusing story of how his wife wanted duck à l’orange for Sunday supper and all he could find at his local corner shop was Orangina, so he used it to make a sauce for the duck.
I’m not sure exactly how he made his canard à l’Orangina, but here’s my version. A simple watercress or wild arugula salad works well with this dish.
- 4 duck legs
- 7 tablespoons orange soda (Orangina)
- 2 tablespoons Cointreau
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 4 oranges, cut into segments
- finely grated zest and juice of one Orange
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- To make the marinade, mix together the orange zest and juice with the olive oil, cumin and salt.
- Rub the marinade over the duck legs and leave to marinate for a minimum of an hour (or in the fridge overnight).
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Put the duck legs with the marinade into a roasting pan and cook for 1 hour or until tender. Halfway through cooking, baste the duck with some of the pan juices.
- Fifteen minutes before serving, pour the orange soda and Cointreau into a large frying pan, place on a high heat and simmer until reduced by half. Stir in the salt and vinegar before adding the orange segments. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Serve the duck legs hot, with the orange segments and sauce.
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