Cooking meat with a sauce from fruits is not familiar in Vietnamese cooking. That’s why I am always eager to try Western dishes served with this kind of sauce. They are often new experiences to me: cooking fruits in savory dishes.
When watching Western cooking shows, my fiance is often impressed by the different levels of doneness, especially when it comes to meats. In Vietnamese food, we hardly cook the meat till rare or medium rare but often cook well-done. Seeing a large piece of lamb rack or beef fillet mignon cooked until rare or medium-rare, with the red juice comes out from the very tender inner meat, he always wishes to really try a perfect piece of that meat one day.
When I cooked this duck breast, the result was as he expected. Following the cooking time suggested, the duck breast was just medium, nearly well-done. When I sliced the duck fillet, a pale pink juice came out of the meat. For the first time, my fiance admitted that this was the most tender piece of duck breast he had been eaten so far. He really liked having this tender meat with orange sauce as well. When I can afford to buy beef and lamb, I definitely try cooking the meat at different doneness for him to try.
- 2 duck breast fillets, about 300g each
- salt, pepper
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tbs butter
- 3-4 tsp orange liqueur, eg. Grand Marnier
*For the orange sauce:
- 1 orange
- 100g creme fraiche or sour cream
- salt, pepper
- some honey
- Rinse the duck breast well, pat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Heat a frying pan without using any extra fat, put the fillets in the pan with skin side downwards and fry for about 6 mintues. Turn the fillets and fry on the other side for another 6 minutes.
- When the duck is nearly done, coat the skin of the duck fillets with honey and some butter. Pour the orange liqueur over the fillets and remove them from the pan.
- Wash the orange, peel thinly and cut into strips or peel the orange with a zester. Then squeeze out the juice.
- Skim the fat off the cooking juice. Scrape the bits at the bottom of the pan while adding the orange juice and zest to the cooking juice. Stir in the creme fraiche and bring to a boil. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and honey.
- Serve the sauce with the duck fillets.