Seared Duck Breast

Seared Duck Breast
Photography courtesy of Kelli Boyd Photography

This savory and succulent Seared Duck Breast recipe is courtesy of Executive Chef Ülfet Özyabasligil Ralph at The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island.

Seared Duck Breast
Serves 8
  • 8 duck breasts, skin on
  • Salt and pepper, for seasoning and to taste
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • ¼ cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1 shallot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup high-quality salted butter*, cubed
  • Garnish: Fresh tarragon and olive oil*
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. With a sharp knife score skin of duck breasts without disturbing the flesh. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet on medium heat. Add duck breasts, in batches, skin side down, (render the fat slowly) until the skin turns golden brown. Turn and sear another 2 minutes. Remove breasts from the pan and let rest about 30 minutes. Carefully transfer rendered fat to a heat-proof container to cool. Duck fat may be saved for another use.
  3. In a saucepan, combine orange juice, champagne vinegar, shallot, tarragon, star anise, juniper berries, peppercorns, and cream. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer, and continue cooking until liquids have reduced by a third. Slowly add butter, whisking to combine. Strain the sauce, season with salt and pepper to taste, and keep warm.
  4. Place duck breasts on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 135° (for medium-rare), or desired level of doneness. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. To serve, thinly slice duck breast, and drizzle orange sauce on top. Remaining sauce may be served on the side. Garnish with fresh tarragon and a drizzle of olive oil.
*We use Plugrá and Batistini Farms.