Papia Portokali (παπια-πορτοκαλί)

Greece’s cuisine also has a good roster of wild game recipes and one of the more universally enjoyed meats has to be duck.

A couple of weeks ago I seared some breasts that I carved from a whole duck. I was left with a carcass, wings, duck fat and duck legs.

When one has duck legs, it’s confit time. Confit comes from the French word (to preserve) and this method of immersing a food in a substance for both flavour and preservation has ended up being a favoured method of enjoying duck legs.

To confit duck legs traditionally, one must brine or marinate the duck legs overnight, then slowly poach the duck legs in reserved duck fat.

I was prepared to go through the whole process but Jerry’s (Cooking by the Seat of my Pants) quick and successful approach to confit saves time and offers instant food gratification.

Jerry’s approach is simple: season your duck legs with salt, pepper and herbs of your choice (I used springs of thyme and rosemary), drizzle with olive and add a splash of stock and roast in low-heat oven for an 60-80 minutes (mine took 80), then increase the heat to 350F and roast until your duck legs are golden brown.

Jerry made a confit of chicken on a bed of spaghetti and I urge you have a look at his recipe and even delve further into the blog for more food inspiration.

Back to my duck legs. The title of this dish is Papia Portokali…or Duck a l’Orange. The French are well known for this classic but the Greeks have their own version that’s true to our indigenous ingredients.

Papia Portokali shouldn’t intimidate you. It’s sounds elegant, has that rustic/chic look and above all, tastes fantastic.

Here are the steps needed to bring this fabulous fall/winter dish together:

  • prepare your duck confit
  • mise en place (organize and prep your ingredients)
  • braise the accompanying lentils
  • steep the raisins in orange juice mixture
  • saute and reduce onions and orange sauce
  • finish duck & orange sauce in the oven

Let’s make some Papia Portokaki!

Papia Portokali (παπια πορτοκαλί)
(serves 4)

4 legs of duck confit (see Jerry’s method here)
6 oranges

1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 cup orange liqueur

2 medium onions, diced

1/2 cup raisins

3 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar

4-5 allspice berries
3 Tbsp. olive oil + 1/4 cup to saute onions

2 sprigs of thyme

1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Braised Lentils
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped

½ cup chopped celery

3 cloves of minced garlic

1½ cups of lentils
1 bay leaf
3 1/2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock

1/2 cup vegetable cocktail (V8)
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heated 375F oven

  1. Place oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic. Sauté until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add lentils and sauté for 1 minute. Add bay leaf and stock. Bring to boil, cover and simmer until lentils are cooked, about 35 to 40 minutes. Uncover pot for last 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain off any excess liquid. Remove bay leaf, stir in organo and balsamic viengar and adjust seasoning. Reserve lentils.
  2. Into a bowl, squeeze the juice of 2 oranges and add the 3 Tbsp. of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, allspice berries and raisins and allow to steep for at least 20 minutes.
  3. With the remaining oranges, trim the peel off and cut into horizontal slices and reserve.
  4. In a large oven-proof skillet, add the olive oil over medium-low heat and saute your onions for about 10 minutes. Now add your mixture of orange juice and raisins in along with the stock, liqueur(pour from a cup – NOT bottle) and bring up to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add your thyme sprigs and rosemary. Reduce the liquid by half or until it’s thickened.
  5. Arrange your orange slices to one side of the skillet and place the duck legs on the other. Place into your preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Spoon a bed of braised lentils onto each plate and lay a duck leg on top with some orange slices to the side. Spoon some orange sauce over each duck leg, garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve immediately.

© 2008 – 2010,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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62 Comments for “Papia Portokali (παπια-πορτοκαλί)”

ΕΛΕΝΑ

says:

Peter, that’s an amazing combination, duck with fakes and stafides, I could never imagine something like this. That must be a dish full of flavours!!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

says:

That looks delicious, Peter! I have actually never made duck before, but I do enjoy eating it! But those lentils are to die for!!!

Núria

says:

As soon as I get my hands on a duck, I’m trying this one :D I never made it before and it’s been on my mind for some time now. Pato a la naranja is also a knowned Spanish dish.
Those lentils there give it the final touch, chico!

We Are Never Full

says:

a classic…

good to see you enjoyed the short-cut version! confit is a word that is super over-used these days and has taken on new meaning than its original one but you’ve done it justice! and, yes, it’s worth the wait!

Jan

says:

Good to see it wasn’t RABBIT! LOL
Only a matter of time I expect!
Looks amazing. Yummy yum yum.
Love your pictures too.
PS: I might HAVE to come to Canada to get one of those dishes you cooked that soup in the other day…

kellypea

says:

Another delicious recipe. And I have to say that had my husband had duck like this instead of the duck we ordered at a local restaurant last week, he’d have been happy. I’ve been wanting to give duck a try — I’ve never had it before. The lentils sound perfect with it.

Marjie

says:

Oh, now I am jealous. I still have to wait until the holidays to get duck, since my dentist was unable to go on his annual duck hunting holiday and didn’t bring me back any!

Anonymous

says:

Why are you cooking up dear old Daffy Duck? Who’s next? Bambi?

Just kidding. Another great recipe. I’m passing many of your recipes on to my sister.

Paul

Peter M

says:

Kat, this way of doing confit makes it easier and just as delicious.

Pete, it’s as autumn as they get!

Elena, thank you, it was a fun dish to make and eat!

Heather, it was moist, flaky…would I post this method if it wasn’t?

Nina, thanks!

Judy, double-yum!

Jenn, go for it…it’s a wonderful meat to cook.

Nuria, you have to…you would make it so delicious!

Neverfull, I would/will do the old skool version too, just to compare – side by side but this technique was really good.

Jan, fear not – therabiit dish will come.

Kelly, fall off the bone, flaky duck meat…that’s what I got here.

Marjie, nothing frozen yet over there?

Paul, Bambi’s good eats, be careful what you wish for!

MAria, very enjoyable.

Elly, I was too!

Grace

says:

what a fancy-shmancy meal! i’ve never had duck confit, but i know for a fact that oranges and lentils taste great together. awesome. maybe one day i’ll have some confit. :)

Dee

says:

I’ve always been put off by the drawn out traditional cofit methid, so Jerry’s method sounds very promising. Thanks Peter! It all looks amazing.

Christie @ fig&cherry

says:

I love the shot of the duck legs simmering in the orange – what a wonderful way to get the flavours to permeate all the way through. Just glorious Peter!

Kevin

says:

I have never had confit duck but it sounds super tasty with the orange and the raisins and herbs. I like that you served it on lentils.

Hélène

says:

In France, we have good duck confit and lentils du Puy, great quality products. With your recipe it’s just wonderful Peter.

Mike of Mike's Table

says:

I’ve wanted to try duck confit forever. This whole dish looks amazing. Move to FL so I can eat your leftovers :o

Mike of Mike's Table

says:

I’ve wanted to try duck confit forever. This whole dish looks amazing. Move to FL so I can eat your leftovers :o

Mike of Mike's Table

says:

I’ve wanted to try duck confit forever. This whole dish looks amazing. Move to FL so I can eat your leftovers :o

Mike of Mike's Table

says:

I’ve wanted to try duck confit forever. This whole dish looks amazing. Move to FL so I can eat your leftovers :o

Mike of Mike's Table

says:

I’ve wanted to try duck confit forever. This whole dish looks amazing. Move to FL so I can eat your leftovers :o

Mike of Mike's Table

says:

I’ve wanted to try duck confit forever. This whole dish looks amazing. Move to FL so I can eat your leftovers :o

Mike of Mike's Table

says:

I’ve wanted to try duck confit forever. This whole dish looks amazing. Move to FL so I can eat your leftovers :o

Mike of Mike's Table

says:

I’ve wanted to try duck confit forever. This whole dish looks amazing. Move to FL so I can eat your leftovers :o

Parker

says:

I was just watching braised lentils on the food network. They look and sound so great. Mmmm duck with it would be nice. Once again an impressive ensemble.

alexandra's kitchen

says:

what good use of the whole bird! and you Frenched (? … is that the right term) the duck leg so beautifully. I love that bare bone. This dish looks/sounds delicious on all levels from the duck to the lentils. yum!

alexandra's kitchen

says:

what good use of the whole bird! and you Frenched (? … is that the right term) the duck leg so beautifully. I love that bare bone. This dish looks/sounds delicious on all levels from the duck to the lentils. yum!

alexandra's kitchen

says:

what good use of the whole bird! and you Frenched (? … is that the right term) the duck leg so beautifully. I love that bare bone. This dish looks/sounds delicious on all levels from the duck to the lentils. yum!

alexandra's kitchen

says:

what good use of the whole bird! and you Frenched (? … is that the right term) the duck leg so beautifully. I love that bare bone. This dish looks/sounds delicious on all levels from the duck to the lentils. yum!

alexandra's kitchen

says:

what good use of the whole bird! and you Frenched (? … is that the right term) the duck leg so beautifully. I love that bare bone. This dish looks/sounds delicious on all levels from the duck to the lentils. yum!

alexandra's kitchen

says:

what good use of the whole bird! and you Frenched (? … is that the right term) the duck leg so beautifully. I love that bare bone. This dish looks/sounds delicious on all levels from the duck to the lentils. yum!

alexandra's kitchen

says:

what good use of the whole bird! and you Frenched (? … is that the right term) the duck leg so beautifully. I love that bare bone. This dish looks/sounds delicious on all levels from the duck to the lentils. yum!

alexandra's kitchen

says:

what good use of the whole bird! and you Frenched (? … is that the right term) the duck leg so beautifully. I love that bare bone. This dish looks/sounds delicious on all levels from the duck to the lentils. yum!

Jerry

says:

Thanks for the shout out, Peter! I’m glad you enjoyed the method, and I hope the simplicity inspires others to give it a go for themselves.

Pam

says:

There is a plethora of lentils on the food blogs this week! Hey, remember when you said that your were going to use big, impressive words in your comments?

The Short (dis)Order Cook

says:

I wsa wrong to read this post while I was feeling hungry. I almost ate my monitor that recipe looks so good.

Natashya

says:

You are a rock star. I can’t believe you were processing your own whole duck, making confit…
I have never even had duck confit before.
Your plating is beautiful too, I love the little bundle of fish at the top.

Peter M

says:

Grace, spanks!

Dee, Jerry’s method works remarkabl well…I challenge any lover of confit to taste the diff.

Christie, the dish came together rather nicely.

Gloria, batteries are recharged.

Sandie, thank you!

Kevin, the moist, flaky meat is to die for.

Merci Rosa.

Helene, you even have the luxury of buying ready-made confit everywhere!

Hi cassolet and welcome!

Kiwi, duck is actually all dark meat and tastier!

Glam, can’t wait to see your own marvelous twists.

Mike, sadly no leftovers but I’ll trade ya confit for your ice cream?

Susan, I’d love to assist…not that difficult.

Parker, I’ve become a big fan of braised lentils…not just for soup anymore.

Forkful, no probs…just pass on a little credit, k?

Alexandra, I will now only buy whole duck. Buying the breasts alone are too expensive.

Darius, Greek food gone wild!

Jerry, my pleasure and keep on cooking, you have some great stuff!

Pam, thanks for the $10 word…I am grateful for your blog patronage!

Disorder…sorry but just doing my blog-job!

Natashya, thanks…just wish I had the hair to match the rock-star status! lol

lolatengo

says:

Hello:
We just found your blog 2 weeks ago, and have already enjoyed your fabulous sardines with mustard and capers. I’m going to make the beans soon. I’m curious about what restaurants you discovered in Sifnos. We went there last summer, and like you, we picked it in part because of its excellent reputation for food. I think that the picture of you must be in Vathy, or perhaps Kamares. Did you discover Koutsounas, the restaurant above Vathy, run by the 75-year-old goat herder/violinist and his wife? Although it wasn’t the most delicious meal we had on the island, it was by far the most memorable. Everyone recommends Leonidas and Astro in Castro, but I honestly didn’t like the latter as much as I thought I would. I had revithia at Leonidas, which I loved. I preferred “To Steki” in Platys Gialos, and Okanida in Vathy. I also thought Manolis in Vathy was not as good as people had said, and we ate there several times to be sure. I’d love to hear about the places you discovered. But apologies if you discussed them somewhere else on the blog, as I’m going to look now.

Cheers,
Carrie (and Thanassis) in Toronto

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