We bought a whole duck and the challenge is to cook at least three different dishes with it. After thawing the bird, I cut it into portions. The thighs, legs and wings will be tonight’s dinner. The back portion will be a soup. And the deboned breast became today’s lunch — braised duck with pineapple, orange and ginger sauce.
This easy, tasty recipe cooks in three steps (sear, braise, thicken the sauce) in about 25 minutes. No fancy cooking tools. Just a frying pan with a tight lid.
Braised Duck With Pineapple, Orange and Ginger Sauce
- 1 duck breast fillet skin on
- salt and pepper
- 3/4 cup good white wine (I used semi-sweet)
- 1 cup fresh pineapple tidbits (please don’t substitute canned)
- 1 orange
- thumb-sized piece ginger
- torn cilantro to garnish (optional but recommended)
- Cut the duck breast vertically into two equal portions. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Zest the orange. You’ll need two textures — fine zest for garnish and larger pieces for cooking. Use a zester to get about half a teaspoonful of fine zest and a peeler to cut the remaining zest. See tips.
- Squeeze the orange juice.
- Peel and finely slice the ginger.
- Heat a frying pan (a cast iron pan is best). When hot, lay the duck breast halves side by side, skin side down. The skin will render fat so there’s no need to add oil. Cook over high heat until the skins are nicely browned, about three minutes. Flip to sear the opposite side, about two minutes.
- Add the ginger and the large pieces of orange rind. Cook until fragrant, about a minute. Pour in the white wine. Allow to boil, uncovered, for about three minutes.
- Pour in the orange juice. Add the pineapple tidbits. Lower the heat, cover and braise for 12 to 14 minutes. Here’s why you need fresh, not canned pineapple tidbits. You want the fruit to expel liquid in which the duck will braise. You can’t get that from canned pineapples.
- Scoop out the duck breast halves and pineapple tidbits, transfer to a plate and cover loosely. Allow to rest while you finish the sauce.
- Boil the sauce until reduced to about four tablespoonfuls.
- Take one duck breast half and slice thinly. Arrange on a plate. Do the same with the other half. Divide the pineapple tidbits and scatter beside or around the duck.
- Spoon some sauce over the duck and pineapples.
- Sprinkle the braised duck with cilantro and the fine orange zest before serving.