Duck à l'Orange Crêpes
Demonstrated at our Club Meeting on April 3, 2022
by Chef Don Dunbar

Makes: 8 pieces. Serves: 4-8 people.
Preparation time: 4½ hours.
Shortcut time: 1½ hours.

For the Batter:
  • ⅔ C. Flour
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • ⅓ t. Salt
  • 1 C. Whole Milk
  • 1 oz. "Brown Butter"
For the Filling and Sauce:
  • 1 Whole (5 lb.) Duck trimmed *
  • 1 Small Onion chopped
  • 1 t. Dried Thyme
  • 2½ C. Chicken Broth
  • 3 Oranges
  • 1 T. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Carrot chopped
  • 1 Stalk of Celery chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove crushed
  • ½ t. Dried Orange Peel (optional)
  • 1 C. Dry White Wine
  • 3 T. Grand Marnier Liqueur
  • 1 T. Orange Marmalade
  • 2 T. Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 t. Tomato Paste
  • 4 T. Flour
  • 1 T. Butter
  • 3 C. Water
  • Salt & Pepper
* Alternately, you may use 3 packages of Maple Leaf Farms (14 oz.) Half Roasted Duck partially boned with Orange Sauce, as a shortcut. Oven cooks in 20-30 minutes. You can skip Step 3, below. LINK-1 LINK-2

1. You'll need a 12 inch flat, round, non-stick griddle or, better yet, a seasoned 6 inch crêpe pan.

2. You can make the Crêpes while the Duck is cooking (Step 3). To make "Brown Butter" for the batter, melt 1 oz. of Butter in a saucepan and heat on medium, stirring until golden brown (about 4 minutes); avoid burning it and then transfer the liquid but not the solids and let cool. For the batter, mix the Flour, Salt, Eggs and "Brown Butter" together, then slowly add the Milk. Stir well until smooth. Pour a small amount of batter in the pan, tilting the pan in a circular motion to thin out the batter and fry the Crêpe on each side (about 2 minutes) until lightly golden on each side. Set them aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cut the wing tips from the Duck and cut the neck in sections. Reserve this and heart and gizzards for the stock. Prick the Duck with a fork and season the inside and out with Salt & Pepper. Cut one Orange into quarters and put two quarters inside the Duck cavity. Place the Duck on a rack inside a roasting pan and add some water to the pan until it almost touches the Duck. Roast 30 minutes, breast side up. Reduce the temperature to 350°F and turn the Duck over and roast 60 more minutes, breast side down. Pour off most of the liquid from the pan and reserve. Flip the Duck back over and roast 30 more minutes, breast side up. When fully cooked (about 2 hours total) remove the Duck, let cool.

4. Debone the Duck, cutting up the meat, discarding the skin. Deglaze the pan with the reserved liquid and strain.

5. Brown the wings, neck, heart and gizzards in oil about 10 minutes stirring on medium heat, until brown. Season lightly with Salt and Pepper. Then add the chopped Carrot, Celery, Onion, Garlic and Thyme. Continue cooking for 5 more minutes. Stir in the Flour, Tomato Paste and Orange Peel. Now add the Chicken Broth, Wine, Water, Duck Bones, Bay Leaf and the reserved liquid from the roasting pan (about 1 cup). Bring this to a boil and reduce to a soft boil for 2 hours. Strain the liquid and skim off the fat.

6. Zest one Orange, blanch 1 minute and cool in water. Strain off the water. Juice this peeled Orange as well as the remaining one and a half Oranges left to make about 1 cup of juice. Mix into the Broth. Add the Cider Vinegar and Marmalade; simmer for 10 minutes over medium heat.

7. Melt the Butter, remove from the heat, add the Liqueur to it, carefully flambé the mixture (for show) as you pour it into the sauce. Add about ⅔ cup of sauce to the Duck meat. Fill each Crêpe with some Duck meat and sauce, then fold the Crêpe. These can be oven warmed if necessary. Serve with extra sauce on top. The flambé can be reserved for each presentation by adding the Liqueur to the extra warm sauce and carefully flaming each plate. As long as the Liqueur is warm, it will flambé.

"Crêpe" - In French, pronounced Krepp, not Craype. They are very thin pancakes originated in Brittany, France in the 13th century. Like the above, they can be "Savory" or with sugar added to the batter, they can be "Sweet" for dessert. The term derives from the Latin meaning "Curled". It's not uncommon in France for Beer to be added to the batter for even more savory flavors. Crepevine Restaurant (9 California locations), Sweet Paris Crêperie and Café (12 Texas locations + 2 in Miami) and Crêpe Delicious Urban Café (50 Canada locations + 1 in Orlando) carry on the tradition of the once popular, but now defunct The Magic Pan.

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