I've been meaning to write this post for quite a while now, as I've been thinking about this recipe since I goy the inspiration reading the menu of a restaurant in Siena, while standing outside waiting for friends to arrive. Do you read menus while walking by restaurants? This is…
Since I was just a little girl I was intrigued by a dish that for me, accustomed to the common names of rabbit or chicken, had an aristocratic and rich charm: the duck à l’orange. I remember that one of my uncles was always saying that he would not stay for dinner with us unless we made the duck à l’orange. It was just a joke, but every time I believed him! What had of so striking special the duck à l’orange?
The duck à l’orange has ancient origins. The duck was bred and cooked in China over three thousands years ago, then arrived in Europe much later, was appreciated by the Romans and later deeply loved by the British people. It is said that the duck à l’orange, usually considered French, was actually created in Florence and brought to the court of Francis I by Caterina de’ Medici, who married his son Henry II… but this is a legend and probably both the French and the Italians had already realized that the orange is really gorgeous with the rich and fat duck meat.
One day mum surprised me and made the duck à l’orange. She replied to my Uncles’ joke with another joke: it was not duck, but a more prosaic guinea-fowl. Though I asked Mom where the recipe came from, we could not figure out exactly when she started cooking it and who has passed her the recipe.