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Duck With Orange Pâté

ingredients

1.75 kg duck
2 tbsp cognac
125 g rindless sweetcure bacon
125 g onion, chopped
500 g minced pork
50 g dried white breadcrumbs
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsps finely grated orange rind
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
butter (optional)
2 tsps finely grated orange rind (optional)
oil (optional)
2/3 cup (150 ml) 1/4 pt orange juice
300 ml water
6 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
a few parsley stalks, crushed
2 - 3 slices of onion
1 stick of celery

method

1. Remove all the skin from the duck and reserve it. Cut off the tail and preen gland, which is a small sac inside the parson's nose, and discard.

2. Take off the breasts and cut them into strips. Put them in a shallow dish and pour over the cognac; leave to marinate for 20-30 minutes.

3. Reserve the bones and carcase, remove as much as possible of the remaining flesh from the duck and make it up with skin (cut up into small pieces) to weigh 750 g.

4. Mince or process fairly finely with the bacon and onion; stir in the minced pork, breadcrumbs, garlic, orange rind, thyme, nutmeg, and seasonings. Leave in a cool place to develop the flavour.

5. Chop the duck carcase and bones into smaller pieces. Make a strong duck stock by first browning the duck bones in hot oil or in a hot oven.

6. Put the browned bones and other stock ingredients in a large saucepan. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Strain and reduce the stock by fast boiling until you have 250 ml. Stir the stock into the prepared mixture.

7. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) Gas Mark 3.

8. Take an oval 1.75- litre dish, and fill it with the mixture; add the marinated strips of duck breast, either in a layer or in an irregular pattern.

9. Stand the dish in a bain-marie and bake for 1¼-1¼ hours, or until the juices are no longer running pink. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

10. When the pâté is cold, the juices will have jellied and the fat set. There will be almost enough fat to cover the pâté. Like this, it will keep uncut in a refrigerator for several weeks or more; it should certainly be kept for 48 hours before cutting, to allow the duck and the orange flavours to develop fully and mingle.

11. The fat has a lot of flavour, but if you don't want it, remove the whole pâté, clean it and present it in another, smaller bowl or on an oval platter, garnished simply. As a half-way measure, mix some of the fat with an equal quantity of melted butter, which will make it smoother.

12. Stir in 2 x 1 tsps of finely grated orange rind and pour that back over the pâté. This tidies up the appearance and adds subtle flavours to the pâté.

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