For over 50 years, this elegant entree has graced my family's holiday table. The zesty stuffing with its nice nutty crunch complements the slices of moist duck, while the hint of orange in the gravy sets it apart.
- 2 domestic ducklings (4 to 5 pounds each)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups coarse soft bread crumbs
- 2 cups chopped peeled tart apples
- 2 cups chopped toasted hazelnuts
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
- 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/3 cup orange marmalade
- Sprinkle the inside of ducks with salt; prick skin several times and set aside. Combine the first 15 stuffing ingredients; spoon into ducks.
- Place with breast side up on a rack in a large shallow roasting pan. Brush with butter. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 180° for duck and 165° for stuffing.
- Remove all stuffing and keep warm. For gravy, combine 3 tablespoons pan drippings, flour, salt and pepper in a saucepan; stir until smooth. Heat until bubbly, stirring constantly. Gradually add broth. Bring to a boil; cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add marmalade; stir until smooth.
- Serve with ducks and stuffing. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Duck with Orange Hazelnut Stuffing in Country Woman Christmas Annual 1998, p28
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