Duck Breast with Orange-Cassis Sauce

Yield 4
RECIPE Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 package Pekin Duck Breast
  • 1 tablespoon Crème de Cassis black currant liqueur
  • Fresh chives, chopped, for garnish
Recipe notes
Duck with cassis sauce is a Parisian classic, and Eric and Bruce Bromberg's version is easy to make at home. The citrus notes play well with the duck breast.
RECIPE Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Meanwhile make the sauce: In a small dish, combine the butter and flour until it forms a smooth paste (you can use a fork or your fingers).
  3. In a large nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugars and cook, swirling, until the mixture is melted, bubbling, and caramelized, about 7 minutes. Pour in the orange juice, vinegar, and lemon juice. Stir until the caramel has melted. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Sprinkle with the seasoning. Whisk in the butter mixture and cook until slightly thickened (use caution, the butter may spatter), 1 to 2 minutes. Cover and keep warm. (Or you can make this sauce up to a day ahead and refrigerate it; reheat over low heat.)
  4. To cook the duck: Trim all the excess fat from the breasts that you can without disturbing the skin. Use a very sharp knife to score the skin in a crosshatch pattern (do not pierce the meat), then sprinkle all over with the seasoning.
  5. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the duck, skin side down. Cook until the duck has released some fat and the skin has turned golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Pour off the excess fat from the pan (reserve it for another use).
  6. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat and how you prefer it cooked (130 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer for medium-rare). Pour the excess fat from the pan, turn the breasts over, and let rest in the pan off the heat for 5 minutes.
  7. Transfer the duck to a cutting board and slice it thin against the grain. Add the creme de cassis to the pan, bring it to a simmer over low heat, and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Pour the creme de cassis and accumulated drippings into the sauce. Drizzle the duck with the warm sauce and serve, garnished with the chives.