Grilled Duck Breasts With Red Wine and Orange Sauce

READY IN: 1hr 15mins
Recipe by Epi Curious

From the November, 2008 Wine Enthusiast, this recipe is from French cookbook author Sophie Dudemaine's newest book, "Ducasse Made Sinple" which is based on Ducasse's encyclopedic "Grande Livre de Cuisine". Recommended wine pairing is a 2005 Reserve Cabernet Franc from Lieb Wine Cellars in Long Island (just threw that in for the serious wine enthusiasts out there). Yet to try but looks easy and tasty...DH clipped from the magazine and handed it over to me at breakfast, meaning, "Let's try this one!"... :-) What sets this apart is that there is pumpkin pie spice in the sauce and on the rub for the meat. Great to serve this with crispy potatoes or a creamy potato gratin and grean beans with shallots. Note: per a review that indicated the cooking time was incorrect, the "prep" time is listed as 15 but the "cook" time at an hour. I haven't changed anything, but wanted to indicate this in the recipe description to avoid confusion to others in the future. So the preparation of the sauce and the duck breasts can take approximately an hour in total.

Top Review by hansondl

Excellent recipe and easy to prepare. However, the quoted preparation time of 15 minutes is ridiculous. Note the instructions that call for almost constant or frequent stiring at various stages that add to at least 40 minutes. Be prepared to spend an hour in close proximity to your stove when you prepare this recipe. Also, if you use allspice, add incrementally to sauce and taste after each addition. I used half the specified amount, and even that was a bit much (overwhelmed the orange flavored component of the sauce).

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. To prepare the red wine and orange sauce.
  2. Combine the orange juice and honey in a large skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a syrup, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the vinegar, stir to combine, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the wine, raise the heat to high and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture reduces by half (8 to 10 minutes). Add the chicken stock and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture reduces to a syrupy consistency, and there is about 1-1/2 cups of liquid remaining (10 to 15 minutes).
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, add the pumpkin pie spice, season with salt and pepper to taste and stir to incorporate. Add the butter and gently swirl with a wooden spoon until incorporated and the sauce takes on a satiny gloss. Keep the sauce war, over very low heat.
  5. To prepare the duck breasts:.
  6. Using a sharp knife, carefully remove about one-third of the fatty skin from the surface of each breast. With the tip of the knife, score the fat with a crosshatch design, being careful not to cut through to the meat. Spread the oil evenly over the duck breasts, then sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture over each breast, a teaspoon on the fatty side and a teaspoon on the other side, and press the spices into the surfaces.
  7. Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Place the duck breasts, skin side down, in the skillet, lower the heat just a notch to medium-low and cook for 7-8 minutes, until the skin is crisply browned. Spoon out the excess fat from the pan as it is rendered. Turn the breasts and cook 3-4 minutes, until the meat on the opposite side is lightly browned. Transfer the breasts to a cutting board and set aside to rest for 5 minutes; they will continue to cook while resting.
  8. Using a sharp carving knife, cut the duck breasts in half crosswise, then cut each half into 1/4 inch slices. Divide among six warmed serving plates, arranging the slices fat side up. Spoon the sauce over the duck and serve.

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