Cranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit Penso

Duck with Cranberries and Orange Sauce

Cranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit PensoWith plenty of leftover cranberries and oranges, I’ve decided to put some into good use, in the form of a sauce for a duck dish.
Cranberries and oranges go so well together, and the acidity and mild sweetness is just perfect for a duck dish. The result was wonderful.
The dish is tasty and festive, perfect for the season. I served it with polenta, but mashed potatoes is also a wonderful option. Try it and enjoy.

Notes:
* Keeping the dish in the fridge overnight does wonders to the flavor of the sauce and I highly recommend not skipping this stage.
* I’ve used homemade lightly salted chicken stock. If using store bought, look for low sodium one.
* 4 pepper mix is made of black, green, white and pink pepper. If you can’t find it, freshly ground black pepper will do.
* Extra sauce will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. It is  great with any chicken or turkey dishes.

Makes: 4
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 2½  hours
Waiting time: overnight

Ingredients:
3 duck legs (about 1.5 lb, 750 grams), preferably fresh, at room temperature
(If using frozen, thaw slowly in the fridge overnight)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground 4 pepper mix
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly cut
3 celery stalks, roughly cut
Zest from 1 large orange
4-5 bay leaves
4-5 dries sage leaves
2 cups fresh cranberries, or frozen, thawed
¼ cup flour
2 Tbs honey
2 cups chicken stock
½ cup fresh orange juice (from 1 large orange)
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground 4 pepper mix
½ tsp sweet paprika
¼ tsp hot paprika
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg

1. With a sharp knife, make a few superficial cuts in the duck’s skin (this will help release the fat). Season with salt and pepper. Place a medium size wide pot over medium-high heat and add the duck, skin side down. Fry the duck in its own rendered fat, for about 5 minutes, until the skin is golden. Turn and fry for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pot, drain most of the fat (keep it, it’s great for roasted potatoes!), keeping about 2 Tbs in.
Duck with Cranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit PensoDuck with Cranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit Penso
2. Add the onion, celery and carrot, mix and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until the onion softens. Add the orange zest, bay leaves, sage and cranberries. Mix and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Cranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit PensoCranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit Penso
3. Add the flour and mix well. Add the honey, chicken stock, orange juice and spices. Mix and bring to the boil. Add the duck and cook for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes.
Cranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit PensoCranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit Penso Cranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit PensoCranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit Penso
4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200F (95C). Place the covered pot in the oven and braise for 1 hour. Uncover the pot and place back in the oven for 1 hour. Take out and bring to room temperature before placing in the fridge overnight.
Cranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit PensoCranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit Penso
5. The next day, remove most of the fat layer. Take the duck out and keep in a bowl at room temperature.
Cranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit PensoCranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit Penso
Discard the bay leaves and blend the sauce with a hand blender. Strain through a fine strainer. Place back in the pot and reheat over medium-low heat. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Cook for about 10 minutes, mixing occasionally, until the sauce reduces and its color deepens. Keep in a warm place until serving.
Cranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit PensoCranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit Penso Cranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit PensoCranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit Penso
6. For a crispy skin serving option: reheat the duck in the oven, and broil for the last 3-4 minutes, to crisp the skin. Serve with the sauce on the side. Another option is to reheat the duck in the reduced sauce and serve.
Cranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit PensoCranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit Penso Cranberries and Orange Sauce Ronit Penso

41 thoughts on “Duck with Cranberries and Orange Sauce

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