Yep.  You read that right – Duck with an Orange and Chipotle Sauce.  Can we say WOW boys and girls?!?

I’ve had a duck breast in the freezer for a while, and it just seemed time to use it.  At lunch today, I went to the Epicurious site and this recipe jumped out at me.  It was totally no-brainer easy, and REALLY had a great flavor!

I used an 18 ounce moulard breast and followed the cooking time fairly closely.  The sauce just rocked!  I strained it about half-way though and then cooked it down to about a half-cup.  Hot, sweet, and smoky.

Broiled Duck Breasts with Orange Chipotle Sauce

Gourmet | October 2005

Adapted from Mark Miller’s Indian Market Cookbook

Duck breast is a sadly underrated meat. Served rare to medium-rare and sliced on the diagonal, it has the mineral tang of beef. This southwestern version, with its slightly spicy sauce, elicits every ounce of flavor from the bird. And it’s so easy!
Yield: Makes 6 servings
Active Time: 25 min
Total Time: 1 hr
For sauce
2 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons maple syrup (preferably dark amber or Grade B)
1 tablespoon finely chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo
1 (3- to 4-inch) cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon salt

For duck
3 (1-lb) boneless Muscovy duck breasts with skin or 6 (7- to 8-oz) Long Island (also called Pekin) duck breast halves with skin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer
Make sauce:

Boil all sauce ingredients in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, skimming foam occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to about 1 cup, 30 to 40 minutes. Let stand while duck broils.

Prepare duck:

Remove rack of a broiler pan, then add 1 cup water to broiler pan and replace rack. Preheat broiler with pan 5 to 6 inches from heat.

Pat duck breasts dry and score skin at 1-inch intervals with a sharp knife (do not cut into meat), then sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Broil duck breasts, skin sides down, 4 minutes for Long Island duck or 8 minutes for Muscovy, then turn over and broil until thermometer inserted horizontally into center of a breast registers 130°F (see cooks’ note, below), 8 to 10 minutes more for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand 5 minutes. Add any juices accumulated on cutting board to sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.

Holding a sharp knife at a 45-degree angle, cut each duck breast into thin slices and serve with sauce.

The sauce is a real keeper.  I can see lots of variations and uses with this!

I made my own Rice-A-Roni with angel hair pasta, rice, garlic, broth…  And the zucchini was sliced with this wavy-knife-thing that lives buried in the back corner of the utensil drawer… (It was easier to dig it out than break out the mandoline for one zucchini…) and sauteed with a bit of butter, salt and pepper.

And there’s more of that mixed fruit crisp for dessert tonight!