Summer is a great time to try your hand at a fruit-inspired wild game dish. This duck recipe, which uses fresh oranges, orange juice, and orange marmalade, is great for sitting on the deck with the family on a warm night!
2 Large ducks, plucked with skin on
6 Juice oranges peeled
1 Lemon peeled, cut in half
2 Medium onions, moderately diced
2 Stalks celery, moderately diced
2-3 Carrots, moderately diced
1-2 Cups water
1 Pint orange juice
3 Bay leaves
3-4 Ounces Grande Marnier Liqueur
1 Small jar orange marmalade
2-3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Cup sugar
Make sure the birds are free from any shot and feathers have not been driven into the meat. Arrange the vegetables on the bottom of the pan to rest the birds on. Place three oranges in each body cavity. Fold wings back underneath the back, make a small slit along the side of the back opening to tuck each leg into.
Place birds on top of vegetables. Bake in 350 degree oven about 1.5 hours. Drain grease off once during the time in the oven. To check the birds for doneness, drain liquid out of back opening, if the liquid is clean and not bloody, it should be close to done. Remove birds to plate to cool. Drain as much grease off the vegetables as possible. Put baking pan on burner to deglaze.
Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil, scrape the brown bits of flavor from the bottom with spatula or spoon. Place all vegetables and liquid in sauce pan. Remove oranges from birds and add in the orange juice, bay leaves, Grande Marnier. Cut ducks in half the long way. Using your thumb, try to work the bones loose and remove all, except leg, thigh, and wing bones.
Boil bones with the rest of the ingredients for 20 minutes. During the boiling, place ducks back in oven to finish baking. Strain liquid in smaller saucepan. Skim all grease from top. Add marmalade to liquid. Test to see if flavor is desirable, do not add sugar. If too thin, add melted cornstarch. Sauce will freeze well.
All recipes are taken from “Dixie Dave’s Wild Game Recipes” fourth edition.