Pan Roasted Duck with Orange Bourbon Sauce

This was the first time I’d ever made duck.  I’m going to tell you what I’m doing NEXT time, and fill you in on what didn’t work all that well.  It was so much easier than I thought it would be.  Now that I have the technique figured out, I’ll be able to concentrate on making some more adjustments to the recipe.


From Nom Nom Bombshells | Main Dishes | American


High cal Calories 780kcal

High fat Total Fat 54g

High sat-fat Saturated Fat 21g

High chol Cholesterol 236mg

High sodium Sodium 1834mg

Low carbs Total Carbohydrate 10g

Serving size 368g Calories from fat 484kcal Fiber 1g Protein 46g Sugar 5g
2 servings


  • 1 lb Duck Breast, skin on (2 filets)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cloves
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 3 T Olive oil
  • 1/4 c. Butter
  • 2 Cloves garlic
  • 1/4 C bourbon
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice from 1/2 orange


  1. Pre-heat oven to 450
  2. Lay your duck breasts on a cutting board and score the fat side with a sharp knife by cutting a large X on each one.
  3. Sprinkle the breast with salt and pepper.
  4. Combine brown sugar, nutmeg, cloves and orange zest in a bowl and set aside.
  5. Pour olive oil in a skillet and heat on medium high.
  6. Place breasts, fat side down, in the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes.
  7. Flip over and cook for about 4 minutes on the other side.
  8. Remove skillet from heat and put the duck breasts in an oven safe baking dish.
  9. Spread the sugar mixture over both breasts and put 1 T butter on top of each breast.
  10. Cook 5-7 minutes, until breasts are cooked to 170 degrees (medium rare)
  11. In your skillet, add the bourbon, garlic, rest of the butter, dijon, Worcestershire sauce and orange juice and stir to combine.
  12. Allow to reduce by half.
  13. Take duck out of oven and allow to rest 5 minutes.
  14. Pour any drippings from the baking dish into the skillet and stir.
  15. Slice your duck breast and top with the sauce.

On a trip to the Butcher’s Market in Raleigh, I was thrilled to find that they had duck breast for about $17.99/lb.  How exciting to be able to cook a unique main course for under $20.  I roasted up some potatoes and carrots with garlic, olive oil, cloves and a shake or two of orange bitters to serve along side.


Aren’t they gorgeous! I try to cut them up to be the same size.  Throw them in the oven, heated to 450 for about 45 minutes.  I left them in a little longer so they’d be nice and crispy.  I love the sweetness they got from the orange bitters.


I made the mistake of putting the brown sugar mix on BEFORE pan roasting (as the recipe I followed for cooking time stated I should do). I found that this burnt the sugar before the skin cooked, so it didn’t get as crispy as I hoped it would.  It was still tasty, but I can only imagine how much better it could have been.


The breasts had a little pink-ness to them.  I googled and found out that this is just fine, as long as the temperature is correct.  Medium rare is technically 150 degrees, however most sites encourage you to cook the duck to 170, just to be sure.  The meat was tender, the sauce was good, but had a slight burnt taste from the brown sugar burning in the oil. We were happy with the meal, and now I’m excited about the idea of cooking it again. Next time, it will be perfect.


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