There are a lot of recipes that I come across that I can’t cook because I have no idea where to get some of the ingredients. But when I came across this recipe, I became so determined to find a way to make it. The problem was, I had no idea where to find duck breast. So I called around and of course, Whole Foods comes to my rescue (that place has everything!). They had fresh duck breast that had never been frozen so I told them to place one on hold for me and I rushed on over. The duck was prepackaged, had 4 breasts, weighed 1.5 lb, and cost about $18. It was a bit steep but with fresh, high-quality duck breast, I can’t complain.

The glaze for the duck was made with 3 simple ingredients. It’s mind-blowing as to how sugar, red wine vinegar, and an orange would combine to create such a savory blend of sweet and tangy flavor. I will definitely be making this again and again and again.

Duck with Orange Gastrique (adapted from Honest Vanilla):

Yields 2 servings

  • 2 duck breasts (I used 4 medium-sized duck breasts and had plenty of glaze to use)
  • 1 orange, zested and juice reserved
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar

For the Gastrique:

Zest orange and add it to a small pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. This is to remove any bitterness from the orange.

Drain the water and set the orange zest aside to cool.

Heat sugar in a small pot over medium heat without stirring for 5 minutes. Swirl the pot slightly when the sugar is starting to melt. This way, the sugar can caramelize more evenly.

Once the sugar is completely melted in dark amber hue, add vinegar and stir with a wooden spoon for 5 more minutes.

Pour in orange juice and zest to simmer for a 5 minutes until reduced to a thick syrup.

For the duck:

Score the duck skin diagonally in crisscrossed lines. Only slice through the skin and fats but not the flesh.

Season the meat with salt and pepper and place the meat skin-side down on a non-stick pan with medium heat to wring out the fats.

When a pool of fat forms around the meat, flip it over and cook the other side for another minute.

Drain the fat and continue cooking meat until skin is crisp and browned. Each side takes about 5 minutes or more. (It depends on how thoroughly you want your meat cooked. I always like it a bit pink.)

To assemble:

Slice the duck meat and drizzle the orange sauce over it.