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Duck with Blood Orange Sauce
  • Blood orange varieties include Tarocco, Sanguinello and Moro
  • Origin and cultivation: found as a spontaneous mutation in Sicily around the end of the 19th century; Sicily is still a major grower and, in the US, they are grown in California and Texas
  • Availability: from winter to spring
  • Appearance: juice really looks (and stains) like blood; color is from anthocyanin pigments which also color grapes, raspberries, blackberries and cherries
  • Flavor: like an orange with a hint of raspberry
  • Trivia: if blood oranges were domesticated before orange oranges, then the word "orange" could have referred to the color red

1 Magret duck breast (Muscovy or other varieties will also do)
1/3 cup of bourbon
Juice of 1 blood orange
1 teaspoon of blood orange zest, minced
1/4 cup of demi-glace
1 tablespoon of butter
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder
Salt

••••••••

Score the duck's fat into 1/4 inch criss-cross marks without cutting into the meat. Sprinkle with salt.

Heat a heavy pan on medium and heat up the butter. Once the butter is foaming, put the heat on low and put the duck in fat side down. Cook on low for 12 minutes, occasionally pouring off the rendered fat. Flip and cook an additional 10 minutes until medium rare, an interior temperature of 135ºF or the USDA recommended 165ºF. Remove and keep warm.

Pour off most of the fat. Add the bourbon to the pan and reduce by half. Add the demi-glace and blood orange juice, zest and cayenne pepper powder. Reduce until nice and thick, turn off the heat and season with salt.

Slice the duck and pour the sauce over the slices.

Serves 2.

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