Honey-Lacquered Duck Breast Recipe

Chicken is undoubtedly one of the most common animal proteins out there, and turkey is another reigning member of the poultry family, dominating sandwiches and Thanksgiving dinners alike. But there's another bird out there worth gracing your plate: duck. Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge has a recipe for honey-lacquered duck breast that's simple yet elegant, combining pan-seared meat with a luxurious sauce that's easy to put together. 

"The use of orange juice, honey, and brown sugar in the sauce gives it a really unique flavor," Olayinka says. "I've never had duck with a sauce like this before." "I think the sweetness of the sauce pairs well with the richness of duck, she continues. "The orange juice also gives it a nice acidity that cuts through the fat." It's true — you don't need to go to a fancy French restaurant to enjoy a classic and delicious French dish, and if you follow Olayinka's recipe, then you'll notice how easy it is to make, too.

Prepare your honey duck breast ingredients

A good meal starts with good ingredients. For this duck dish, you'll need duck breasts, of course, specifically two of them with the skin still on. You'll also need honey, brown sugar, orange juice, salt, cornstarch, and avocado oil. "I find that avocado oil has a higher smoke point than other oils, so it's better for cooking at high heat. It also has a neutral flavor, so it doesn't interfere with the other flavors in the dish," Olayinka says.

Sear the duck

It's time to start cooking your duck breasts! Get a skillet and put it over medium-high heat with a little oil. Sprinkle salt over both sides of the duck breasts and place them in the skillet. Let it cook skin side down for a few minutes so it develops a nice crispy exterior, then flip the pieces over and let the meat finish cooking for about a minute. When the breasts are done, take them out of the pan to rest for a bit.

Make the sauce

Now, it's time to stir up the sauce. Mix together the cornstarch, orange juice, brown sugar, and honey. Add that mixture to your skillet and let it cook for a bit, so it thickens and reduces.

Drizzle the sauce onto the duck

Now that your sauce is thick and hot and your meat is nicely cooked, all that's left is to pour the sauce over your duck breasts and dig in. "I like to serve this with a simple green salad and a glass of any fizzy drink," Olayinka says, adding that if you end up with leftovers, you can store them "in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through." The next time you're feeling bored with chicken, why not give honey-lacquered duck breast a whirl?

Honey-Lacquered Duck Breast Recipe
4.9 from 31 ratings
Give chicken and turkey a rest, and give this delicious honey-lacquered duck breast recipe a spin.
Prep Time
Cook Time
seared duck breasts with orange wedges
Total time: 10 minutes
  • 2 skin-on duck breasts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  1. Season both sides of the duck breasts with salt.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the avocado oil.
  3. Place the duck in the pan, skin-side down. Cook until crisp and golden brown, about 4 minutes.
  4. Turn the duck over and cook for another minute.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk the honey, orange juice, sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl.
  6. When the duck is cooked through, remove it from the pan and add the sauce to the skillet.
  7. Cook until bubbling and thickened, about 2 minutes.
  8. Serve immediately with the sauce on top of the duck.
Calories per Serving 479
Total Fat 21.1 g
Saturated Fat 3.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 127.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 39.7 g
Dietary Fiber 0.1 g
Total Sugars 36.6 g
Sodium 573.2 mg
Protein 33.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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