Saturday, October 13, 2018


As I said in my last blog post the recipe we used for our Duck Legs was not perfect. I am not sure what happened, but the legs were quite tough. Tasty, but tough. The sauce we made was spectacular so I am going to focus on that. I am also including Debby Vis's recipe for Duck a L'Orange as this is perfect every time.
Deb and me making the marinade. She just knew
that duck would be happy swimming in delicious red wine!
First we marinated the legs for about 1 hour in the following:

2 cups red wine
3 tsps. olive oil
1 tsp. salt/a few grinds black pepper
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. onion powder

Preheat oven to 350.
Remove duck legs from marinade and pat dry. Reserve the marinade. In a large, heavy skillet heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 Tbsp. butter over high heat until smoking. Brown the duck legs on both sides. Place the legs in a large casserole and cover with the marinade. Roast at 350 degrees for 1 hour. I think the cooking time was off on this recipe. We should've cooked another 30 minutes. Next time I would suggest testing for doneness with a meat thermometer. The USDA recommends internal temp be 170 degrees, but for medium rare legs I would stop cooking at 135 degrees. In the rush of getting the other dinner items readied I am not sure we gave the legs the finger test to tell if they were soft, succulent or still stiff and tough.
This is a very brown plate of food. We should have added
freshly chopped parsley to the brown rice and topped
the duck leg with scallion tops.
To make the sauce, remove legs from the pan and set aside under foil to keep warm.
Heat the pan juices adding 1 more cup red wine, 1/2 cup chicken stock, 2 Tbsp. butter, 1 finely diced shallot and 1 cup dried fruit: cherries, blueberries, cranberries and strawberries. Salt/Pepper to taste. Stir any brown bits into the sauce and cook until reduced by half; about 20 minutes. We chose not to strain the sauce as the fruit and shallot gave it a nice, rustic texture, although straining the sauce gives it a little more elegance.

Here is my friend Debby Vis's excellent tried and true Duck a L'Oranage. She has made this dish for me and my husband and it is truly delicious!
Deb's husband, Steve, storms the kitchen brandishing
 a sword making sure the 2 cooks stay in line!

I snagged this photo from the internet.
Deb's Duck a L'Orange looks just as pretty.
Only difference is she cuts the duck in half.
2 whole ducks, cut down the middle, lengthwise
4 oranges, cut into thick slices, leave peel on
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 Tbsp. Herbs de Provence

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and pat duck halves dry. Rub all sides with the Herbs de Provence. Liberally salt and pepper. Place half the orange slices in a large pan. Top with duck halves, skin side up. Add the rest of the orange slices, onion, and celery. Cook for 11/2 hours. Every 20 minutes baste the duck and use the baster to remove some of the duck fat. To brown the duck, turn oven temp up to 425 degrees and cook for another 30 minutes. Remove duck from the pan and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Make the sauce in the same pan you roasted the duck in.

1 Tbsp. butter
2 large shallots, diced
Rind of 1 orange, cut into strips
1/2 can orange juice concentrate
1/2 (or more) cups Cointreau
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 Tbsp. brown sugar

Melt 1 tbsp. butter in the roasting pan. Add the shallots and cook until just softened and caramel color. Add the orange strips, 1/2 can orange juice concentrate, 1/2 cup Cointreau, 1/2 cup chicken stock, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Stir constantly to incorporate the drippings from the pan the duck cooked in along with cooked celery, onion and orange slices. Cook for 15-20 minutes until reduced by half. Strain and pour over the duck to serve. Garnish the duck with a few fresh slices of orange.

This is the first blog-post I have published since my dear friend, Dennis Makes passed away. Since starting this blog (thanks to the urging of his wife, Diana, 6 years ago) Dennis has not missed making a comment each and every time I post, even while traveling in Africa, New Zealand, or the Galapagos Islands, he always had a positive word. He was a fabulous cook himself and we loved to talk food, cook and share meals together. We shared many holidays; good times on the golf course, and simply enjoying each others company. Both my husband, Jerry and I are missing him dearly.
NOVEMBER 13, 1952 - OCTOBER 5, 2018
'Thank  you' dinner for work Dennis had done on my computer.

Camping Salero Ranch
Very special Czech dinner for Dennis's Mom, Helen.
We "Birdied" #14 at Kino Springs!
What's missing from this photo?!?
Kino Springs 2015
We've shared many Easter feasts with Dennis and his dear wife, Diana.

Easter 2017
Dennis was filled with love, joy and laughter, never
missing an opportunity to live life to the fullest!
And he loved his Wildcats!
You've made a big impact on my life,
as you have on all those you touched.


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