Sautéed Duck Breasts with Orange Soy Marinade

By Elizabeth Gawthrop Riely This colorful dish is also delicious at room temperature as a salad.

Makes 2 servings.

INGREDIENTS 2 large seedless oranges ¼ cup peanut oil 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce 2 skin-on duck breasts, well trimmed ¼ teaspoon crushed Sichuan pepper, if desired Dark leafy greens such as baby spinach, arugula, or watercress

DIRECTIONS With a sharp paring knife, remove the peel and pith from one orange and cut out the “filet” segments; put them in a small bowl, cover and reserve.

Squeeze the other orange to measure ½ cup juice. In a shallow pan, mix the juice with the peanut oil, soy, hoisin sauce, and Sichuan pepper.

If you have removed the breasts from a whole duck yourself, make sure the white tendon in the long thin tenderloin muscle on the underside is removed. Trim the fat around the edges of both pieces. With a sharp knife, score the fat layer of skin in crisscrosses not quite through to the flesh. Lay them in the marinade for 30 minutes or more, turning at least once.

Just before serving, heat a heavy sauté pan over high flame so the pan is hot.

Meanwhile, dry the duck pieces on paper towels. Without adding any oil, lay the breasts skin-side-down in the hot pan; make sure you place them in the right spots. Sear them for 5 minutes without moving to render some of the fat and brown the skin. Lower the heat and, with a spatula, turn the breasts (take care where you place them) to cook the other side. In about 10 minutes, turn them back to the other side to finish cooking, 15 minutes in all. Rare to medium-rare is what you want for this dish, but it all depends on the timing and intensity of heat.

Remove the breasts to a cutting board. Let them sit for a few minutes, then slice them thinly across on the bias to reveal the pink meat beneath the dark skin. Transfer them to hot serving plates. Garnish with the reserved orange segments and leafy greens.