No need for excess fat in duck

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Duck is one of my favorite foods. No matter how you make it — roasted, braised, the legs confitted, the wings fried, the breasts grilled like a steak — it’s just plain scrumptious.

Duck often is sauced with fruit; humans long ago realized that the acid in fruit acts as a great counterbalance to the richness of the duck. A classic of French cuisine, canard a l’orange (duck with orange sauce) employs bitter oranges, which are not readily available in this country.

So for this recipe, I added orange slices to the juice in the sauce. The white pith in the peel provides a bitter edge. The sherry wine vinegar and Dijon mustard offset the sweetness of the orange juice.

DUCK BREASTS A L’ORANGE

Start to finish: 40 minutes (15 minutes active)

Servings: 6

2 whole Peking duck breasts (4 halves, about 2 to 2½ pounds total)

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 medium shallot, minced (about ¼ cup)

3 small oranges

1½ tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

½ teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 teaspoons water

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Chopped fresh chives, to garnish

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