Crispy spiced duck breast with orange sauce recipe

Dec 16, 2011 at 6:06 p.m. ET

Duck is a great dish to serve during the holiday season. This duck recipe is a twist on the French classic, Duck a l'Orange. If you've had duck at fancy restaurants before, cooking it yourself is an entirely different experience and you begin to realize how simple it is!

Crispy spiced duck

The recipe is fairly easy to follow making it great for those who haven't previously cooked duck. You will love the combination of spices along with the orange sauce. The flavors complement each other perfectly.

Serving duck is a wonderful alternative to your traditional Christmas fare. The duck breast is seasoned with salt and then the skin is crusted with ginger, cumin, chili and star anise. This spice mixture amps up the earthy poultry flavor and creates a wonderful crispy skin when seared in the pan. It is complemented by an orange sauce recipe made by deglazing the pan drippings with shallots, agave syrup (or honey), orange and lemon juice. Serve with a healthy side of vegetables and a nice bottle of pinot noir.

Spiced duck breast with an orange glaze sauce

Serves 2-4


  • 2 (6-8 ounce) 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 coconut oil, or canola
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup, or honey
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, or butter
  • Salt, to taste


  1. On both sides of the duck breast, season with salt; then add cumin, star anise, coriander, ginger, white pepper and chili powder to the skin side.
  2. Add coconut oil to a large pan over medium heat. In the pan, place the duck breasts skin side down. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook until the skin is crisp and golden brown, for about 12-15 minutes. Flip the duck breasts and cook for about three to four minutes, until medium-rare. Transfer to the cutting board to rest.
  3. Raise heat to medium, and then add sliced shallots and cook until soft. Add agave syrup, lemon juice and orange juice and allow liquid to reduce. To finish the sauce, whisk in the butter or coconut oil. Season with salt.
  4. Cut duck breasts into thin slices and pour the orange shallot sauce over top.

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