One of my goto ways to make duck breasts is with Chinese 5 spice and orange. The rich gamey flavor of the duck is paired beautifully with orange and 5 spice (cinnamon, fennel, star anise and cloves). Unlike cooking a whole duck, this method is almost foolproof and will have your whole house smelling incredible!
Don’t throw away the fat, it makes the most mouth-watering potatoes!
One word of caution, the FDA does recommend cooking duck to 165 like all poultry. This can be quite controversial among chefs and foodies as it is often eater medium. I do like to cook mine fully to avoid any chance of me or my guests from becoming ill.
Orange 5 Spice Duck Breast
Crispy Duck breast with Chinese 5 Spice and Orange.
Preheat oven to 425 and take duck out 20-30 minutes before cooking. It is best to start with duck near room temperature so it cooks evenly.
Remove any excess fat and skin from the duck breasts. Using a sharp knife score the skin in a criss-cross fashion, ensuring not to go too deep (you don't want to go into the meat). Season with kosher salt and pepper. Add the 5 spice and rub onto both sides of the duck.
Place the breasts skin-side down into a cold oven safe skillet*. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook for 5 minutes or until the skin looks golden brown. During this time most of the fat should have rendered off. Reserve and set aside.
Turn the duck over and cook for another 5 minutes. Place the duck back to skin-side down and zest over a whole orange. Place in the pre-heated oven for around 25 minutes or until 165 degrees. Remove excess fat as needed during cooking.Store the rendered fat in a mason jar in the fridge and use for potatoes, vegetable etc. *Duck is very fatty, we start in a cold skillet so we can render out the fat.