Maple Lacquered Duck Breast

By • March 25, 2012 • 35 Comments



Author Notes: A few of my favorite things - duck, a little sweet, a little spicy, a little citrus. And simple - really this comes together in a snap. And as an extra added bonus you get to use the word lacquered. One simply does not get to say lacquered often enough ..aargersi

Food52 Review: The combination of flavors in this recipe is delightful; classic duck & orange combo with a twist. The maple syprup adds a sweetness which is not too cloying and not immediately identifiable as maple (a plus, in my opinion). Salt the breasts abundantly and skip black pepper before placing in the pan; better to pepper later as the grounds will scorch. The dish is visually pleasing, as well; the pink flesh with orange zest, thyme leaves, and browned skin would make a lovely dinner party presentation.Rebecca Vitale

Serves 2

  • 2 duck breasts - mine were nice and fat from the farmers market - the size will of course affect the cook time
  • 1/4 cup grade B pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • zest from one orange
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Score the skin of your duck in a criss-cross pattern, about a half inch apart, being careful not to cut through to the meat. Generously salt and pepper the duck all over.
  2. Heat an oven safe skillet just to medium. It is important not to get the heat too high, because you want to brown and crisp the skin and render most of the fat without burning the skin or overcooking the meat. An iron skillet is really best for this. I also give it a spritz of no-stick JUST to be safe.
  3. Put the duck breasts in skin side down. Once you start to see some fat rendering, move them around a bit. Check periodically - the skin should be slowly turning deep golden brown. As the fat renders you may want to remove some, you want about 1/8 - 1/4 inch of fat in the pan. Save that extra rendered fat for potatoes or something - it's magic!
  4. While the duck is browning mix together the syrup, zest, thyme and red pepper. Once your skin is brown and crispy and glorious, flip the duck over and spoon the syrup glaze over. Into the oven with it. After about 5 minutes, Re-lacquer the duck with the now fatty sticky wonderfulness in the pan, then back into the oven for about 5 more minutes (depending on the size of your ducks) - an internal temp of 125-130 is medium rare which is duck breast at its most delicious.
  5. Make sure to rest the duck for at least 5 minutes, 10 is better, before slicing.
Jump to Comments (35)

Comments (35) Questions (0)

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5 months ago Rissako

Thanks, aargersi! Lovvvvved this recipe… and it was so easy. Served it with roasted cauliflower and sautéed chard. (The weather was warmer than I'd expected and I didn't want to go too heavy.) But perhaps in the fall, I'd serve it with some roasted fingerlings and brussels sprouts. Can't wait to cook it again!

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5 months ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh good I am so glad you liked it! I somehow missed the below comments but alla y'alls ( :-) Texas) kind comments remind me that I need to make it again soon!

Stringio

8 months ago Kate Crawford

Delicious recipe. So tender, and the orange flavors really came through. Served this with Trader Jo's Brown Rice Medley made with Chicken broth base and Roasted Asparagus (cooked during resting time) with a few TBSPs remaining pan sauce drizzled over during cooking. Such a great meal!

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9 months ago alidee06

This was delicious! Unfortunately when my husband cleaned the birds he cut the fat off (it was his first time hunting duck, he didn't know any better!) So I did my best to cook this without drying it out. It still came out deliciously and the sauce was especially good spooned over smashed sweet potatoes! Our first experience cooking duck was a great one thanks to this recipe!

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over 1 year ago lovebeerlovefood

I could kiss you on the mouth. This is such a great recipe! We just made it for Easter dinner, and served with asparagus and carrots. It was phenomenal. Thanks for sharing!

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over 1 year ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wow - high praise indeed - I am so glad you enjoyed it!!!

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over 1 year ago chefpatty

I mean zested orange!

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over 1 year ago chefpatty

Excellent. I segmented the zest end orange, squeezed the juice out of the pith and added it to the maple syrup mixture. At the end of cooking I added the orange segments to the sauce. While the duck rested, I sautéed escarole in a little of the duck fat and added some garlic. Fantastic together.

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over 1 year ago Tashipluto

great and easy recipe! I subbed pomegranate molasses for the maple syrup, and ground cumin for the thyme -- worked out beautifully. thanks!

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over 1 year ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh that sounds delicious! I will have to try it!

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over 1 year ago rayva

great recipe! subbed preserved lemon (Paula Wolfert recipe) for the orange zest and it worked well with its hints of moroccan spices. Thank you!

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almost 2 years ago QueenSashy

I absolutely must try this!

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almost 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh I hope that you do, and that you enjoy it!

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almost 2 years ago Emalani

I'm making this tonight, so I probably won't have an answer by then - but just in case...aargesi, what do you serve with this duck recipe? I like Consultant's suggestion of Suspiciously Delicious Cabbage - then I might go with potatoes for the starch. But any other ideas? Thank you!

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almost 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi there! I just saw this - what did you decide on? I would say go decadent and do duck fat potatoes:

http://www.food52.com/recipes...

and a salad. Probably don't want to eat that EVERY night but ...

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almost 2 years ago Emalani

We were going to do oven-roasted potatoes. I planned to parboil them a bit first but forgot about them (we have 9-month-old triplets who just learned to crawl!). They were a mushy mess when I found them again. I let them dry in the colander, and then fried the in the extra duck fat -- not as good as the duckfatfriedpotatoes, but good! The duck was DELICIOUS. Absolutely wonderful, thank you. And the cabbage was a pretty awesome side, too.

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over 2 years ago Consultant who cooks

I love this recipe! A few notes: I didn't have as much maple syrup as I thought, so I substituted honey for most of it and added a little splash of orange juice to make the glaze easier to spread. The 6 oz frozen duck breasts I bought were pretty thin and only needed about 6 minutes in the oven. I served it with fiveandspice's Suspiciously Delicious Cabbage for a great dinner.

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over 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I love your twists! And am so glad you enjoyed them!

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over 2 years ago arielleclementine

hey congrats on the CP Abbie!! that picture is absolutely mouthwatering.

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over 2 years ago jenniebgood

I've been eyeing packaged duck breast at my local farmer's market for a few months now, but didn't want to get caught up in elaborate preparation - this looks so great and I'm going to give it a try. Congrats on getting chosen as a Community Pick!

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over 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks! Yes I recommend getting them at the farmer's market. Mine come with wings - a bonus for my stock bag!!!

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

Just now getting to this...and all I can say is LOVE!

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over 2 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Oh, I miss my duck. Not a meat you find in Nigeria.....sniff sniff. This sounds so yummy.

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over 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I am sad for you! No duck is no good :-(

Stringio

over 1 year ago edgargonzalezcom

rise your own ducks!!

Henrykiss

over 2 years ago arielleclementine

love this!! quintessential aargersi. saved to make soon with duck from your fave purveyor!

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over 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

The guy at Barton Creek farmer's market has nice ones!!! He also has rabbits ...

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over 2 years ago healthierkitchen

Delicious! Just saved this for when I find the perfect duck breasts!

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over 2 years ago Midge

Yay for lacquered! Maple and duck do seem like they were made for each other.

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over 2 years ago LE BEC FIN

Perfect combo of some of my favorite things. Now, seriously, aa, when ARE you moving next door?

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Duck & maple, great pair. You're seriously onto something here.