The smoky dark meat of duck pairs beautifully with the bright citrus of an orange juice marinade to produce a sweet and savory orange duck after it is roasted. You can achieve this same flavor combination even if you are not working with an entire duck. Duck breasts easily soak up the orange juice flavor, and they require less carving and resting after the meat has cooked than an entire bird. Marinate your duck breasts in pure orange juice or add other savory flavors for a subtle twist on this classic flavor combination.
Thaw the duck breasts overnight on a covered plate set into the refrigerator if they are frozen.
Remove the skin from the duck breasts and trim away any visible fat. Fat can intensify the duck's slightly gamy flavor and removing it will allow the orange flavor to shine through.
Place the duck breasts into a large plastic bag and add the orange juice. Marinate the duck breasts in just orange juice for a pure citrus flavor or add grated orange zest for a more intense orange flavor. Conversely, combine the juice with additional ingredients, such as chopped garlic cloves, dry red wine or soy sauce, to reduce the marinade's orange flavor or add an additional layer of complexity to the taste of the duck.
Seal the plastic bag and turn it to coat the duck breasts.
Place the duck breasts into the refrigerator for at least four hours and up to overnight. Turn the bag every four hours to distribute the flavor of the marinade evenly.
Discard the used marinade and prepare the duck in your preferred manner.
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- Make a double batch of marinade and reserve some for basting if you are grilling or slow-roasting the duck breasts.
Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.