The idea for this dish came from two places: the classic duck a l’orange, and the flavour profile of wheat beers. It is common to add orange peel and coriander seeds to Belgian witbier, with Hoegaarden being a commonly available example. The combination of flavours ties together nicely, while the carrots provide textural contrast. The orange purée is laborious but delicious and definitely something worth making for a special occasion. The recipe below makes more than enough, and anything left over can be frozen.
8 large oranges
100ml vegetable oil
Peel the oranges then remove all the white pith from the peel. Discard the pith then juice the fruit, reserving about 100ml. Finely chop the peel and place in a pan of cold water. Bring the water to the boil then strain the peel. Add the peel to more water and bring to the boil again. Repeat this process 6 times. This removes the bitterness from the peel. After the last boil, strain the peel and add the sugar, orange juice and a pinch of salt. Blend with the best equipment available to you, pouring in the oil as you blend.
Duck and Coriander Jus:
300g duck bones
500ml dark chicken stock
1 tsp of crushed coriander seeds
2 tbsp each of finely chopped leek, carrot and onion
Heat some oil in a saucepan over a high heat and add the duck bones, browning evenly for 10-15 minutes. Add 100ml of water and reduce to nothing. Brown the bones again. Add the chopped vegetables and cook for 5 minutes until the vegetables are lightly coloured. Add the coriander seeds and chicken stock and turn the heat to minimum. Simmer for 30 minutes, skimming frequently before straining and reducing the sauce.
250g Chantenay carrots
A few coriander and fennel seeds
Peel the Chantenay carrots then place in a pan with the other ingredients. Place over a low heat with 100ml of water and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the carrots are cooked but retain a little bite.
100ml white wine vinegar
Peel the carrot into long strips. Mix the remaining ingredients with 100ml of water and bring the boil. Pour over the carrot strips, then cool.
2 duck breasts
Thyme flowers, coriander seeds
Season the duck breasts and place skin side down in a cold frying pan without any fat. Place over a medium high heat and render the fat from the duck breasts. Cook this way for five minutes then turn over. The skin should be golden brown and crisp. Put the frying pan in the oven and cook until the duck breasts reach 58 degrees Celsius. Sprinkle the skin with the flowers and seeds. Rest for 5 minutes then slice each breast in half. Serve with purée, sauce and carrots.