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Duck Breast Whisky and Orange Sauce

Duck breast whisky and orange sauce, In this recipe duck breasts are pan seared and served with a delicious whisky and orange sauce, a dish to make for entertaining!

In this recipe, duck breasts are pan seared first skin side down for a few minutes, then skin side up, gather the oil released from the skin as you go because there will be a lot, just leave a little bit oil to sear the flesh side of breasts.

The sauce is made with some whisky, orange juice and honey, if you do not like whisky, you can replace it with white wine or water.

Duck meat has a rich flavor and can advantageously replace a good sirloin in terms of proteins and minerals. It is also much cheaper, about half the price of sirloin.

Duck breast can be cooked rare to well done, I like mine medium to well done.

Do I eat the skin? Personally, I don’t because I don’t like meat fat and will thoroughly remove any piece of fat that I can see. Depending on the recipe I am making, I will remove the duck skin before cooking, it’s easy enough to do, sometimes I will remove as I eat…

Tip: I like to collect the released oil as the skin melts, filter it and let cool in a plastic container, then I use this oil to sautéed potatoes, oh sooo good. Duck fat can be stored up to a month in your fridge.

If you like this kind of recipe, you might be interested by my Flank steak, porcini and Vermouth sauce or my Cod and shrimp crockpot, click on my "special occasion dinner" tag for more recipes.

  • 4 servings
  • Easy
  • 1 h 00

Recipe :


Duck breasts:

4 (about 900 g.) duck breasts, room temperature

Salt and pepper to taste


3 tbsp. orange juice

1/4 cup (60 ml) whisky

1 tbsp. honey

A pinch of Cayenne

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tbsp. (42 g.) cold butter, cut in small chunks

Sear duck breasts:

Make a few incisions into the breasts skin, add salt and pepper to taste on both sides

In a large pan, on medium high heat, sear the breasts skin side down for about 10 minutes, gather the oil into a glass/heatproof bowl as the skins melt, leave only enough oil in the pan to sear the breasts on the other side

Then turn the breasts over and sear them for about 7 minutes or to your liking, I prefer to count 7 minutes, slice the breasts and if I find that some slices in the middle are really too raw, I will just put them back a few seconds into the hot pan, set aside

Wait about 10 minutes before slicing the breasts

Make the sauce:

Into a medium pan, on medium/high heat, add all the ingredients except the butter and cook until reduced to half, then lower the heat and add the butter a few chunks at a time, whisk butter until melted and incorporated in between each addition, add Cayenne, salt and pepper to taste

To serve:

To serve, slice duck breasts and drizzle the orange sauce

Serve with your favorite sides, green beans and rice are a perfect pairing


The right doneness of meat depends on its thickness and your liking, I like my meat between rare and medium. To avoid that the extremities be overcooked and dry, I prefer to slightly undercook my meat. If you find that the slices in the center of cut of meat are too rare, you can put them back for a few seconds into the still hot pan with the burners off