Crispy Seared Duck Breast and Orange Sauce

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Perfect medium rare duck breast with crispy, crunchy skin, tender juicy meat – pan seared to perfection in minutes and topped in a lightly sweet orange sauce.

sliced duck breast with crispy fat seasoned with salt, pepper, and herbs topped with an orange sauce on a plate
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sliced duck breast with crispy fat seasoned with salt, pepper, and herbs topped with an orange sauce on a plate

Crispy Duck Breast in Orange Sauce

If you love duck in orange sauce, you’ll be thrilled how easy it is to make a perfect, crispy, crunchy duck breast at home – with delicious, tender meat and a perfect orange sauce that comes together in just minutes. This is a restaurant quality dinner you can wow guests with – and it is incredibly easy to whip up without a ton of experience cooking!

Duck breast is perfect when medium rare – but some like their duck done slightly more so that it is not pink in the middle. You can cook your duck to your liking, depending on your preference.

This dish is a delicious, easy dinner that is impressive to serve at a dinner party – low carb, easy to prepare, and it’s actually very budget-friendly!

We hope you love this easy seared duck breast and orange sauce as much as we do.

sliced duck breast with crispy fat  topped with an orange sauce on a plate

How to Make Crispy Seared Duck Breast and Orange Sauce

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

For the duck:

  • Duck Breast – you can buy duck breast at most grocery stores. It will be darker red in color than other fowl meat, that is normal.
  • Salt and Pepper – salt and pepper are critical to season the duck before it is seared in the pan.

For the orange sauce: 

  • Red Wine – I use a dry red wine for a spicy flavorful taste to our duck sauce. 
  • Chicken Stock – chicken stock is a flavorful basis for the sauce and gives it the proper consistency. 
  • Orange Juice- I use fresh squeezed orange juice for a fresh bright note in this duck sauce. It compliments the rich savory duck meat perfectly. 
  • Honey – honey adds sweetness to the sauce and balances the red wine flavor beautifully.

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method:

  • Prep. Score duck fat, making a grid shape along the fat, taking care to not cut through to the duck meat. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Sear. Place duck, fat side down, in cold pan. Pan must absolutely be cold – do not preheat. Let fat reduce and crisp on medium-high heat, about 15-18 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
  • Cook. Flip duck breast and cook through to medium rare, another 4-5 minutes.
  • Make sauce. Rest duck for at least 10 minutes, skin side up. While duck is resting, combine wine, stock, juice from 1 orange, and honey in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced, about 5 minutes.
  • Serve. Slice duck in thin slices and top with orange sauce. Serve and enjoy!
sliced duck breast with crispy fat seasoned with salt, pepper, and herbs topped with an orange sauce on a plate

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Crispy Skin Seared Duck Breast

Start searing in cold pan. Don’t add duck to warm pan – searing duck in a cold pan gives the duck fat more time to fully render, so it can crisp up better, and more completely. This also allows for the duck meat to stay tender and juicy!

Score fat. Scoring fat gives more surface area for the fat to render fully, so it can get extra crispy and crunchy. If you can see the duck meat through your scoring you’ve scored too deeply – but you do need to score fully to get a good, crispy sear on the fat.

Don’t discard duck fat. Duck fat is liquid gold – don’t toss it! We love to fry potatoes in it!

Know duck temperatures. For medium rare duck, cook to 130 degrees F. For medium, 140; and for closer to well, 155 F.

FAQs

When is duck breast done cooking?

For medium rare duck, it is done cooking at 130 degrees.

Is medium rare duck safe to eat?

Many people think that duck is safer to eat than other poultry, but it can still carry microorganisms if not cooked to 165 degrees. It is not as risky as other poultry, but there is still risk – so cook as thoroughly as you prefer.

How can this recipe be stored?

Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to four days. Always reheat fully when serving.

What to Serve With Crispy Seared Duck Breast

Crispy Seared Duck Breast and Orange Sauce Recipe

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sliced duck breast with crispy skin and orange sauce spooned on top
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Crispy Seared Duck Breast With Orange Sauce

Easy, tender duck breast with crispy skin and a lightly sweet red wine orange sauce.
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine French
Keyword duck, duck breast, easy duck recipe, how to cook duck, orange sauce, poultry, seared duck
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 duck breasts
Calories 612kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • 2, 1 lb. duck breasts
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 cup red wine dry
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Instructions

  • Score duck fat, making a grid shape along the fat, taking care to not cut through to the duck meat. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Place duck, fat side down, in cold pan. Pan must absolutely be cold – do not preheat.
  • Let fat reduce and crisp on medium-high heat, about 15-18 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
  • Flip duck breast and cook through to medium rare, another 4-5 minutes.
  • Rest duck for at least 10 minutes, skin side up. Drain fat, but do not discard – save for frying potatoes later!
  • While duck is resting, combine wine, stock, juice from 1 orange, and honey in pan, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to a boil, then reduce, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced, about 5 minutes.
  • Slice duck in thin slices and top with orange sauce.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 612kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 310mg | Sodium: 461mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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