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Duck, with its rich dark meat and crackling skin, is really a celebration dish, something elegant for Christmas, New Year’s Eve or a birthday. Citrus juices help cut the richness of the meat; blood oranges have an almost floral taste, so if you can find them, use them. The miso, chile paste and soy give this duck an Asian feel. Think duck à l’orange without the usual suspects.
- 1 (4 1/2-pound) duck
- zest and juice of 1 grapefruit
- 1 cup blood orange juice (or fresh orange juice)
- 1 blood orange (or Valencia, Cara Cara or naval orange), zested and cut into quarters
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon white miso
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek (see note) or harissa
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
- segments and juice from 1 blood orange
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups watercress
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 1 shallot, very thinly sliced
For the duck:
- Pull the excess fat from the cavity of the duck. (Freeze it so you can render it later.)
- Put 1/2 cup grapefruit juice (drink the rest) in a bowl with the grapefruit zest, blood orange juice, blood orange zest, soy sauce, miso, sambal oelek, sesame oil and salt and whisk until smooth.
- Set the duck in a large bowl, then pour the citrus-soy marinade over it.
- Cover and marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Remove the duck from the marinade and place it on a rack in a roasting pan.
- Poke the skin all over the duck with a skewer or the tip of a small knife.
- Place the blood orange quarters, onion, garlic cloves and thyme in the duck’s cavity.
- Tie the legs together with butcher’s twine and roast the duck for 1 hour.
- Bail out any fat that has rendered from the duck. (Strain the fat and freeze it.)
- Increase the oven temperature to 450°F and roast the duck for another 45 minutes, basting every few minutes with the marinade while it roasts.
- If the duck is burning, lower the heat to 350°F.
- The duck is done when the legs move easily and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 160°F.
- Let the duck rest on a cutting board for 30 minutes.
For the salad:
- Warm the chickpeas in a small pot over medium heat.
- Whisk the orange juice, olive oil and balsamic vinegar together in a small bowl.
- Put the chickpeas, watercress, orange segments, pine nuts and shallot in a salad bowl.
- Toss with the vinaigrette.
- If you want, strip the leaves from the thyme in the duck cavity and add them to the salad.
- Carve the duck and serve it with the watercress-chickpea salad.
Note: Sambal oelek, a Southeast Asian chile paste, is available in the Asian section of many supermarkets.
Author's Tip: Don’t waste any of that duck! Put the neck in the roasting pan with the duck for the first hour. Let it cool and pull off the meat. Season the liver with salt and pepper, dust it with flour, and sear it in some of the duck fat. Chop it up. Toss the liver and neck meat into the salad.
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