Duck always feels like a special-occasion food to me; growing up in an Asian household meant that duck signified a celebration; Sunday yum-cha, Chinese New Year or a big family feast. Now even as an adult, duck only ever appears on menus at fine French establishments or in a rich ragu dish at established Italian joints reserved for special dates or birthdays.
Even making this at home; something about the achieving that perfectly crispy seared skin, the copious amounts of precious duck fat that is rendered out (and then re-used to fry up the crispy brussels sprouts), all bathed in a gorgeous, thick orange sauce. You’ll certainly want to save this for a celebratory meal.
Duck Breasts in Orange Sauce with Crispy Brussel Sprouts
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 2 duck breasts
- 400 g brussels sprouts- halved and cleaned
Spiced Orange Sauce
- 1 orange- juice only (about 1/2 cup)
- 120 ml chicken stock
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
- Take the duck breasts out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature before cooking. Pat dry with a paper towel, score the skin diagonally. Season well with salt and pepper
- Add the olive oil to a cold cast-iron skillet and place the duck breasts skin-side down. Turn the heat up to medium heat and cook for 12 minutes. If the ends of the breasts start to curl up, press them down with tongs to ensure an even sear
- Flip the breasts and sear the other side for 3-4 minutes- depending on the thickness
- Take the duck off the heat and allow to rest- skin side up. Rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing
- In the meantime, turn the heat up to high and add the brussels sprouts with a generous sprinkle of salt. Fry them in the duck fat for 5-8 minutes, tossing regularly to ensure the sprouts turn golden brown all over. Remove from heat and set aside.
- While the brussel sprouts are cooking, make the Orange Sauce. In a small sauce-pan, add the sauce ingredients and allow to gently simmer over medium heat. The sauce should reduce down to a thick syrup- after about 10 minutes.
- Slice the duck breasts and arrange on serving plates. Scatter the brussels sprouts on the side, then drizzle the duck breasts with orange sauce and serve