Wild Duck with Sauce Bigerard

Bigarade is the French name for bitter Seville oranges which only have a short season, so grab them when you can during the marmalade-making days. The sauce is most excellent with mallard or wild duck, enriching the rather dry flesh. Otherwise you can serve the sauce with a domestic duck or pieces thereof. The ducks should be served pink inside which takes about 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.

Ingredients

  • 2 × 1.75kg/4lb ducks of your choice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 600ml/1 pint water

For The Sauce

  • 2 Seville oranges
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 1 level tbsp plain flour
  • 250ml/8fl oz chicken or game stock
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Madeira or port

Method

Make a stock with the giblets, onion, carrot and bouquet garni. Roast the ducks in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 for 20–30 minutes, depending on the degree or rareness you like.

To make the sauce, pare the rind off the oranges very thinly so that no pith is left on the peel. Cut into tiny strips and fling into a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes to blanch. Drain through a sieve and set aside. Melt the butter in a little saucepan, stir in the flour and cook gently until it becomes a pale coffee colour. Add the stock a little at a time, skimming the while to provide a smooth sauce, and simmer for a further 15 minutes. Add the blanched rind and the sugar, season to taste and add the juice from the roasting pan after you have drained off the fat.

If you want to make this sauce when Seville oranges are out of season, cheat by using 1 ordinary orange and a piled tablespoon of bitter marmalade, but omit the sugar.

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