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“Del paparo” . That is : Roast duck sweetened with citrus, served with carrots

  • A) The Roast:
    1 Muscovy duck about 1.1kg
  • crush together 3 chopped garlic cloves, and a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper.
  • B) The Sauce:
    The peel (only the yellow part) of 2 oranges
    1 lemon and ½ grapefruit
    3 garlic cloves
    ¼ white onion
    5-6 sage leaves
    the leaves of a small twig of rosemary
    1 meat stock cube
    1 spoon of mustard powder
    ½ spoon of aniseed seeds
    ½ spoon of fennel seeds
    4 cloves
    ½ spoon of powdered cinnamon
    4 spoons of sugar
    25 grams of butter
    ½ glass of white wine
  • 1 piece of candied citron finely chopped
  • a handful of raisins soaked first in hot water
  • 25 grams of butter
  • 4 carrots cut into rings and blanched in salted water
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sugar
Season the duck inside and out with salt and pepper, spread the crushed ingredients in A) evenly over the duck, massaging to incorporate well, wrap in baking foil and place in casserole; moisten the wrapping with abundant vegetable oil and cook in oven at 180° for 30 minutes. At the end of this time open the wrapping and remove the foil, rotate the duck in the casserole and allow to brown for another 10 minutes, moisten with ½ the wine and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes turning a few times. At the end of this time remove from oven, drain and put in another pan large enough to just contain it spread out, sprinkle over the citron and raisons and put to one side. Put the casserole which previously contained the duck over a high heat and add the butter to the juices remaining there stir well un-sticking juices from bottom of pan and cook for 3-4 minutes add remaining wine, allow to evaporate and reduce a little 4-5 minutes over high heat. In the meantime, put all the ingredients at B) in the blender add the boiling juices of the pan and blend together until it becomes a runny cream and is perfectly amalgamated, extremely perfumed with citrus and spices and has a well balanced but more sweet than sour flavour. Pour this blend over the duck in the pan, almost covering it, add the rounds of carrot and cook for 10 minutes. Before serving taste and adjust the sauce with salt, pepper or sugar according to your taste, then serve divided into quarters with the carrots.
Duck in orange sauce was already well known and well used in Firenze at least 500 years before the ”Great Parisian Chefs” (authentic masters at discovering that which already exists) realised that by using citrus juices, duck in itself a fatty creature, could become crispy and pleasantly leaner. And without particular award to those who consummate it otherwise you would need hundreds of said awards in every family and it would therefore become laughable (but aren’t the present day ones laughable anyway ?).

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni


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