Chef John's Orange Duck

Chef John's Orange Duck

Chef John 22701

"This is one of those classic dishes that somehow became a cliche, and people stopped making it for fear of looking un-cool, which is too bad, since it's really good. This is traditionally done with a whole roasted duck, but by using breasts we get pretty much the same results in a lot less time."
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50 m servings 354 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 2 servings



  • Calories:
  • 354 kcal
  • 18%
  • Fat:
  • 20.9 g
  • 32%
  • Carbs:
  • 14.9g
  • 5%
  • Protein:
  • 19.8 g
  • 40%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 130 mg
  • 43%
  • Sodium:
  • 787 mg
  • 31%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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  • Prep

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  1. Score duck skin almost all the way through the skin and fat each way on the diagonal in a crosshatch pattern. Generously season with salt and rub salt into each breast. Let rest, skin-side up, at room temperature, for 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk chicken broth, orange liqueur, sherry vinegar, orange marmalade, orange zest, and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl.
  3. Pat duck breasts dry with paper towels. Re-season skin-side of duck breasts with salt.
  4. Heat duck fat in a heavy skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Place duck in skillet, skin-side down, and cook for 6 minutes. Flip duck breasts and cook until they start to firm and are reddish-pink and juicy in the center, about 4 minutes more. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 140 degrees F (60 degrees C). Transfer breasts to a plate to rest. Pour any rendered duck fat into a glass jar.
  5. Return skillet to medium heat and whisk flour into pan; cook and stir until flour is completely incorporated, about 1 minute. Pour orange mixture into skillet; bring to a boil. Cook until sauce thickens and is reduced, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. When orange mixture stops bubbling, add butter; stir until butter is completely melted and incorporated into the sauce, about 1 minute. Season with salt to taste.
  6. Slice duck breasts across the grain, arrange on a plate, and spoon orange sauce over the top.


  • Cook's Note:
  • You can substitute vegetable oil for the duck fat.


9 best friend had duck with orange sauce 20 years ago!! she raved about it and I've been wanting to make it for her ever since. Time and availability presented itself last night, as she...

Great preparation for duck. sauce left something to be desired.

There are comments on the duck breast being tough. I jaccard my breast before I cook them. Jacardding is an hand held unit that has many small knives that pierce the flesh to tenderize. Same thi...

Great sauce, for sure, but any time I make duck breast, it is tough not tender. I've done it medium rare to medium and nothing makes it tender. Any advice out there?

Delicious! I did not have Geraldine but used another orange liqueur.

My dear favorite chef. This looks wonderful and want your opinion in using the sauce for chicken breasts. What do you think? Ruth

This was the first time I've cooked duck. The meat was tender and the sauce was excellent (not sweat, which was great). Next time I make it, I'll have to remember to use a splatter screen to r...

Excellent and easy! I have tried to roast whole duck twice before only to end up with a smoky, greasy mess. I bought 2 boneless duck breasts (Mary's brand, natural, free range duck from Petaluma...