Seared Duck Breast With Chili, Honey, & Ginger Glaze

READY IN: 36mins


  • 2
    whole magret duck breasts, approximately 1 pound each, available from specialty meat markets
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1
    small dried ancho chili pepper (soaked in 1 cup boiling water for 30 minutes, reserve soaking water)
  • 1
    small white onion, finely chopped
  • 1
    tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2
    tablespoons warm honey (dissolved in 1/2 cup port wine)
  • 2
    scallions, chopped, about 1/2 cup


  • With the point of a knife, score the skin side of the breasts in crosshatch pattern, being careful not to pierce the flesh of the meat.
  • Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a saute pan over medium heat for 1 minute before adding the breasts, skin side down.
  • Cook skin side down over medium to low heat, for approximately 10 to 12 minutes to render the fat from the skin before turning the breasts over.
  • When the duck has rendered its fat and the skin has taken on a crisp exterior quality turn the breasts over and saute the flesh side for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the duck from the pan, place on a platter to keep warm and pour the excess fat safely into a heat proof container. (The reserved duck fat may be chilled and used for another cooking use.).
  • While the duck is cooking (or even before you cook the duck), remove the chili pepper from the water in which it had soaked and reserve the liquid.
  • Place the chili into a blender and begin to puree, adding as much of the reserved liquid as necessary to create a smooth and thin paste-like texture.
  • This chili paste may be refrigerated for a day covered with plastic wrap or pour a tablespoon of olive oil on its surface and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  • After removing the duck breasts from the pan add the onion to still hot pan and return to the heat.
  • Add a tablespoon or two of reserved duck fat.
  • Saute the onion briefly before adding the ginger and 2 tablespoons of the chili paste.
  • Add the honey and port to the ginger chili, stir to combine and cook for one minute.
  • The breasts have rested for several minutes and should now be medium rare.
  • They can be sliced lengthwise or cross-wise and several slices placed on each plate.
  • Drizzle the warm glaze over the duck or for more impact, brush some on the duck breasts before slicing, run the duck under a hot broiler for 1 minute, caramelize the glaze and then slice and drizzle.
  • If you desire, drizzle some around the duck breasts on the serving dish.