It’s not often that I cook with duck, despite it featuring in a recipe post over the summer (thanks to my mum). But when I saw duck breast at Bones and Blades, I just had to get some. It’s an expensive cut of meat, and so it really was a treat to try out this recipe and the port reduction as well.
I absolutely love cooking with citrus fruits, as I think they bring out an extra element from meat that really plays with your taste buds. I would normally use lemons, but using orange for duck is a time-tested pairing that can do no wrong.
I also wanted to try this recipe because I had almost all of the ingredients already in the house – except for the duck breast, so it felt natural to give it a shot and share it with you if it worked. Lo and behold, it did.
It also allowed me to play with my skillet more. So many meals I make now are utilising my skillet, which makes me happy. I had no idea I would use one piece of kitchen equipment as much as I have been. I also still can’t believe that it took me this long to invest in one (despite the issues of finding one to fit in my oven).
You don’t have to use a skillet though, as you can simply just transfer the duck from one pan to another without issue. Just like I would have done if I didn’t have my skillet.
You will need to prepare the duck the night before, so take that into consideration before you start cooking.
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (or fresh thyme leaves)
zest of 1 orange
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 duck breast
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chicken broth/stock
- Combine the thyme, orange zest, sugar, allspice, pepper and salt in a small bowl to make a rub.
- Score the skin of the duck into diamonds (roughly 1 inch wide), then rub the thyme mixture over the skin of the duck. Place in an air-tight container and refrigerate overnight.
- About 20 minutes before cooking, remove the duck breasts from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C.
- Meanwhile, place the port and shallots into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 30 minutes, until sauce as reduced slightly.
- Strain the shallots from the saucepan and add the chicken broth to the port. Cook for a further 15 minutes, to allow the sauce to reduce further and thicken slightly. If sauce does not thicken, add 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch if desired (or keep the sauce more liquid).
- While the sauce is reducing, place your skillet over high heat and allow to get hot. When the pan is hot, place the duck, skin-side down, onto the skillet.
- Let the duck breast cook for 5 minutes, then place the skillet into the oven. Allow to cook for a further 3 minutes, then turn the duck breast over. Cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Once rested, slice the duck and serve with wild rice and asparagus. Pour the port reduction over the duck. Enjoy.