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Chef John's Orange Duck

Rated as 4.71 out of 5 Stars

"This is one of those classic dishes that somehow became a cliche, and people stopped making it for fear of looking un-cool, which is too bad, since it's really good. This is traditionally done with a whole roasted duck, but by using breasts we get pretty much the same results in a lot less time."
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50 m servings 354
Original recipe yields 2 servings


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  1. Score duck skin almost all the way through the skin and fat each way on the diagonal in a crosshatch pattern. Generously season with salt and rub salt into each breast. Let rest, skin-side up, at room temperature, for 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk chicken broth, orange liqueur, sherry vinegar, orange marmalade, orange zest, and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl.
  3. Pat duck breasts dry with paper towels. Re-season skin-side of duck breasts with salt.
  4. Heat duck fat in a heavy skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Place duck in skillet, skin-side down, and cook for 6 minutes. Flip duck breasts and cook until they start to firm and are reddish-pink and juicy in the center, about 4 minutes more. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 140 degrees F (60 degrees C). Transfer breasts to a plate to rest. Pour any rendered duck fat into a glass jar.
  5. Return skillet to medium heat and whisk flour into pan; cook and stir until flour is completely incorporated, about 1 minute. Pour orange mixture into skillet; bring to a boil. Cook until sauce thickens and is reduced, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. When orange mixture stops bubbling, add butter; stir until butter is completely melted and incorporated into the sauce, about 1 minute. Season with salt to taste.
  6. Slice duck breasts across the grain, arrange on a plate, and spoon orange sauce over the top.


  • Cook's Note:
  • You can substitute vegetable oil for the duck fat.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 354 calories; 20.9 14.9 19.8 130 593 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 33
  1. 41 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

We used this recipe as is, no tweaks, today for a hassle-free Christmas dinner. This was amazingly easy and quick and the results quite impressive.

Most helpful critical review

Sorry, Chef. I swear by your recipes and advice, but your application of Kosher salt as recommended on your video is completely over the top and totally ruined the dish, killing the flavor of th...

Most helpful
Most positive
Least positive

We used this recipe as is, no tweaks, today for a hassle-free Christmas dinner. This was amazingly easy and quick and the results quite impressive.

Awesome dish. Really suprised this doesn't have more reviews. I love duck so much now. Way better than steak. Great work chef john

There are comments on the duck breast being tough. I jaccard my breast before I cook them. Jacardding is an hand held unit that has many small knives that pierce the flesh to tenderize. Same thi... best friend had duck with orange sauce 20 years ago!! she raved about it and I've been wanting to make it for her ever since. Time and availability presented itself last night, as she...

Excellent and easy! I have tried to roast whole duck twice before only to end up with a smoky, greasy mess. I bought 2 boneless duck breasts (Mary's brand, natural, free range duck from Petaluma...

We have never had Duck before and being a fan of Chef John recipes decided to give this a go. We could only find frozen duck breasts. As you can tell from the rating, we were incredibally satisf...

This was easy to make and delicious. I used a little more or the sauce because in our home we're suckers for orange. I served it with steamed green beans and a cauliflower-potato mash. It was gr...

I was never good at cooking duck breast. I tried another chef's recipe last year and that was a fail... Until I came across this. Awesome in the end and my wife loves it.

First time making this and loved it! It took us twice as long to cook the duck breasts just as another reviewer mentioned. I didn’t have sherry vinegar and used a dry red wine instead. I also us...