Seared Duck Breast with Orange Brandy Sauce
Flavorful, moist, seared duck breast needs nothing more than a simple orange pan sauce to make an elegant entree that's quick and easy enough for a weeknight dinner. Serve with rice pilaf or couscous, roasted carrots and a salad for a complete meal.
- 4 boneless duck breast halves, skin on (about 1-1/2 lbs)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons brandy
- Vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Using a sharp knife, score the duck skin in a criss cross pattern (about 1/2-inch apart), being careful not to cut into the meat. Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides.
Melt the butter in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook until soft and aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the orange juice, honey and brandy and simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened to a syrup-like consistency, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Film the bottom of the pan with a small amount of vegetable oil and add the duck breasts, skin side down. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the majority of the fat has been rendered from the duck skin.
Pour off the excess fat, turn the duck skin side up and place the pan in the oven. Roast for 5 to 7 minutes, until the duck is cooked through but still pink in the middle (internal temp of 155°F). Allow to stand for 5 minutes before carving.
To serve, remove the skin and cut the duck into 1/4-inch slices. Drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with orange zest.
Makes 4 servings