If you have been following my blog you will know I’m a fan of UCOOK. They are a home cooking delivery service that has ever changing weekly menus with killer recipes. I’ve done about 12 so I know. I’m also Francks biggest fan (unashamedly), so when UCOOK asked if I wanted to create this feast at home I immediately said YES.
It was a total scorcher in my kitchen yesterday with a blazing 32-degree heatwave in Cape Town, but I got busy early so my oven was off by 11am. I then assembled all the dishes to shoot them on my table. I managed to cook all 7 dishes in 3 and a half hours and planned ahead starting with the dishes that take the longest and worked accordingly. The chickpea and lentil salad is delicious and could easily be made the day before. I deviated off plan with the potatoes and made my own best roast potatoes because duck fat is the answer here. I was even able to harvest the fat from the roast for future roast potato making.
This menu is perfect for a summer Christmas with 2 cold dishes. The flavours of each were incredible. The gravy is quite frankly perfect with balanced flavours as Franck is renowned for. I used strips of orange zest from the orange and then strained everything through a fine sieve vs his recommendation of just picking out the gizzards. It made it smoother. I also just banged everything into a pot at one time – including scraping off every piece of sticky bit on the bottom of the pan. That is liquid gold.
PS: I’ll share the recipes for the potato cakes with smoked salmon and the sides tomorrow – they are worth writing home about. The Asparagus with buttery almonds and parmesan is pure heaven. Watch this space.
This is what the feast looked like:
Ok so this recipe is quite long and wordy but the ingredients are pretty simple. It’s a real how-to and I can actually hear Franck talking in my head as I read it. I’ve interjected with a few of my own comments now that I’ve tested this recipe. He offers great chefs tips along the way too. Be sure to watch his video on how to make it, aside from being totally entertaining it will also put you at ease.
How to make duck à l’orange – by Franck Dangereux
Recipe – serves 4
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Ready a large ovenproof dish for your duck.
Remove your duck from the packaging, drain any natural juices from the duck cavity and place it on the roasting tray. Remove the gizzards from the packet and add them to the roasting tray. With the sharp point of a knife, prick the skin all over. Season the duck on the inside with a generous amount of salt and pepper. CHEF’S TIP: Grind the pepper up in a small pile and add it into the cavity in pinches, like you would salt. Quarter one orange and place these quarters in the duck with the bay leaves. Drizzle the duck with olive oil until well coated and season generously. Place in your hot oven (once it has reached temperature).
Once the duck has been in the oven for 20 minutes, turn down the heat to 180°C. The duck skin should be turning a rich golden colour by now. Cook for a further 1-1.5 hours, until cooked through.
Prepare your glaze and sauce. Boil your kettle. To a small pot on a medium heat, add the Glaze and allow it to simmer for 4-5 minutes until the marmalade has melted and everything has blended together. Stir well. While that simmers, zest and juice your remaining orange. Add your chicken stock to a bowl with 150ml boiling water and allow it to dissolve.
When the duck has 10 minutes to go, remove it from the oven. Spoon two-thirds of the glaze over the duck, enough to wholly cover the top of the duck. Leave the remaining third of glaze in the pot. Return to the oven for the final 10 minutes. In the meantime, finely chop the garlic.
After 10 minutes, remove the tray from the oven. Transfer the duck to a board and cover with foil to allow it to rest. Carefully drain the oil from the baking tray to a white plate, making sure to stop draining when all the flavoursome darker grizzly bits from the pan start to escape. You want these to make your sauce!
*Keep the drained off duck fat and store in your fridge for future roast potato making
You are ready to make your jus. Pour your fat-free tray juices into the pot with your remaining Glaze. Scrape all the caramelized bits off the bottom and sides of the tray and place in your pot along with the gizzards. Add the garlic and bring to a simmer over medium heat until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Then add the juice and zest of the orange and the chicken stock. Stir to combine and allow that to simmer together until nicely reduced about 10-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. You want the consistency to be nice and thick. When nearing completion, remove the gizzards from the jus.
* I strained the gravy through a fine sieve then put it back on the heat and added the butter.
To finish, add 30g of butter to your jus. Stir to combine and simmer for further 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat when ready, and season further to your taste. In the meantime, rinse your watercress.
You are ready to serve! Carve your duck into 6 pieces, as you would a whole chicken. CHEF’S TIP: If the thought of carving this bird going along the bone with a knife is too daunting, you can use a clean pair of secateurs/scissors and cut the duck into 8 pieces going right through the bones. Place a bed of watercress on a platter and top with your duck pieces. Serve with your jus and enjoy. Excellent!
*carving a dusk is not that easy so using scissors is a good call. The meat can stick to the bone.
UCOOK with renowned chef Franck Dangereux has created the ultimate festive feast box.
PS: you can choose between this duck, a classic roast chicken, fillet steak with anchovy butter or pork belly with pine needles as your protein in the Christmas feast.
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