This duck and orange stir fry was one of the first things I cooked in my new flat.
My new flat has a gas oven. I’ve always cooked on a gas hob, but never with a gas oven. I didn’t know what I was doing. What were these numbers, 1-9? Why didn’t I have clear, precise temperatures? Why did I only have the option of heat or no heat? Where was my fan setting, my standard setting, my grill?
I switched it on and the flames burst into life. Satisfied I could at least light the damn thing, I let go of the knob. The flames immediately vanished, leaving me panicking about gas filling the flat and exploding when I switched on the light. I turned off the gas, closed the oven door and ordered a pizza for dinner.
The next time, I left the knob pressed down for a good long while. The flames jumped around in the back of the dark, spotlessly clean box. I very slowly let go of the knob, ready to slam everything shut and run away if I had to. It was fine. I removed my hand and the flames kept going. Satisfied I closed the oven door, boiled my potatoes, sprayed them with oil and put them in the oven. Thirty minutes later, my beans cooked and my broccoli boiled, I triumphantly pulled out a tray of soggy, pale potato slices – a far cry from the lovely, crisp chips I’d been promised I’d be able to make with gas.
But the third time I tried to cook on it, everything went right. I marinaded duck breasts in orange juice and soy sauce, sealed them in a pan, then roasted them until they were crispy on the outside but soft and succulent on the inside. The combination of tangy orange, sweet duck and relief made this one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten.
Notes – don’t freak out if the duck breast is shrunken once it comes out of the oven. Rest it under some foil whilst you cook the stir fry and it’ll relax a little. I freaked out that I’d managed to burn them, but actually they were delicious with a little resting.
I’ve suggested a stir fry, but honestly don’t feel bad for using a pre-prepared one. I do this all the time – ASDA’s stir fry packs are particularly good, and using a pack means you get to spend your evenings doing fun things rather than slaving away in a kitchen.
- Two duck breasts
- Two large oranges
- 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
- Noodles, to serve
- 1 red pepper, cut into thin slices
- 1 yellow pepper, cut into thin slices
- 4 spring onions, sliced
- A handful of sugar snap peas
- Juice one of the oranges. Mix with the soy sauce. Score the duck breasts several times and lay them in this mix. Leave for at least an hour, turning at least once
- Preheat the oven to 200C
- Heat a pan to a medium-high heat. Lay the breasts in it skin-side down and leave for five minutes. Turn to the other side, cook for a minute, then remove
- Roast the breasts skin-side up for 18 minutes. Remove and tightly cover with foil
- In the pan you cooked the duck in, add all of the stir fry veg. Drizzle over a little more soy sauce and cook for five minutes
- Cut the remaining orange into quarters. Squeeze two of these quarters over the stir fry and mix well
- Slice the duck breast and serve with the stir fry, the remaining orange quarters, and the noodles