Crispy duck breast with orange shallot sauce
Duck isn’t something we normally eat. It’s the kind of thing I save for fancy dinners out and I would never buy it at the grocery store for cooking at home. It makes for a more expensive dinner than I like to make in my own kitchen and quite frankly, I never thought the Omnivore would enjoy it.
But when someone gifts me duck breasts as a gift I’m more than happy to give it a go at home! I browsed a lot of recipes before settling on this one. I knew I wanted to highlight the fatty deliciousness of duck skin (although the Omnivore ended up peeling it away from the final product) and I knew I wanted to serve it beautifully in its entirety rather than dicing it up and serving it as some component of a a more complex meal.
The breast was crusted with an array of spices reminiscent (I think) of Chinese 5 spice: anise, ginger, cumin, chili powder, salt. When I think duck, I generally think Chinese so this seemed fitting. I made sure to warn the Omnivore that duck is meant to be served rare with a pink center so he wasn’t as shocked as I was the first time I had duck (luckily, I was with Bridget, who assured me all was well).
The orange shallot sauce took the whole meal up a notch and was such a delicious complement to the duck. I had contemplated serving it with spiced pepper jelly instead but I am so glad I made the recipe as written.
As we sat down to dinner, the Omnivore (literally), clenched his jaw and then took a quick bite. After he deemed the main course a success he told me a horror story behind the last time he’d eaten duck. Luckily, I’ve redeemed this delicious treat for him.
Crispy Duck Breast with Orange Shallot Sauce (adapted from Wishful Chef)
- 2 6-8 oz. boneless duck breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon ground star anise
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- salt, to taste
- Season the duck breasts with salt on both sides, then coat the skin side of the duck breasts with the star anise, cumin, ginger, coriander, white pepper and chili powder.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat and add canola oil. When hot, place the duck breasts skin side down in the pan. Lower to medium low and cook until skin is golden brown and crispy, about 12-15 minutes. Flip the duck breasts over and cook until medium rare, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer the duck breasts to the cutting board to rest.
- Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat from cooking the duck and do not clean pan. Heat the pan over medium heat, add the sliced shallots and cook until soft. Add the brown sugar, orange juice and lemon juice and reduce the liquid for 3-4 minutes.
- Thinly slice the duck breasts and pour over the orange shallot sauce