French Fridays with Dorie: Honey-Glazed Duck Breasts

Because it’s nothing I ever considered as home cooking, duck is one of my favorite things to order in a restaurant: duck breast, duck leg, duck confit – any or all of the above. When I saw this week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie was 20-minute honey-glazed duck breasts, I was definitely intrigued.

Fortuitously, my closest grocery store actually carries duck breasts. They’re from Peking ducks from Québec, naturally raised for their meat, not force fed for foie gras. We’ve used duck legs from the same producer (Brome Lake Ducks) for duck confit, but never tried the breasts.

What a revelation! Not only can I now have restaurant food at home, but it was fast enough to make for a weeknight meal. Even so, it was impressive enough for a fancy company dinner too.

First, you cross-hatch the fatty skin on the duck. Then you heat up the casserole. (I love an excuse to use my Le Creuset pot.) Once it’s hot, the duck goes in, skin side down, for about 8 minutes to crisp up the skin. The high sides of the pot helped contain the splattering fat, though I had to use the splatter guard too. Ducks sure do have a lot of fat. Then, I flipped over the duck to brown up the other side for a few minutes. It was looking good. I loosely wrapped the duck in foil, and let the breasts rest in a warm oven while I made the tangy sweet-and-sour honey-balsamic-lemon sauce. (I’ve reserved all that duck fat to use to roast potatoes another time. I can’t wait for that.)

For serving, I sliced the duck (on the diagonal to make it more tender, according to Dorie) and drizzled the slices with sauce. To me, lentils are the perfect side dish for duck, so while my duck cooked, I simmered a pot of lentils. I tossed the warm lentils with a mustard vinaigrette. Sauteed beet greens rounded out the plate.

I thought the duck breasts were comparable to many duck dishes I’ve ordered out. How exciting to be a home chef! I don’t remember which recipe I last proclaimed my favorite FFwD recipe so far, but this one is definitely in the top three!

Check out what the other Doristas thought about the honey-glazed duck here. I’m hoping they are as enthusiastic as I am. And I’m curious about what kinds of sides they chose to serve with the duck.

If you want the recipe, check it out in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table.


Posted on 4 November 2011, in Autumn, French Fridays with Dorie and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Your duck breasts look fantastic!

  2. Looks great! I can’t wait to try this dish. Yuuu-uuum!

  3. I know, maybe it’s silly, but I too get excited when I find out that I can prepare something which I previously considered “restaurant food”. Especially when it turns out to be this easy!

  4. Really good cookbooks demystify seemingly complex dishes – that’s why Dorie is so amazing. :)

  5. Great pairing of lentils and beet greens! Did you toss any duck fat with the lentils too? Isn’t it awesome that previously restaurant-only dish can now be enjoyed easily at home?

  6. WOW! I bet you are thrilled to have this recipe on hand now! Fancy duck anytime you want, I smell a birthday dinner : )

  7. Nope – it is always a great feeling when you figure out you can do something at home.
    I just about did cartwheels when I started doing yogurt at home :-)
    Have a great weekend!

  8. Funny how duck is considered restaurant food – I’ve always ordered it in a restaraunt and have been terrified to cook it at home because of the scoring/fat, until Sept. when I tried a roast duck at home, and then this recipe. I feel that duck has been de-mystified for me and now is not just a restaurant only item.

    Great post! Happy French Friday!

  9. I love the idea of doing this with lentils. Maybe I’ll use the rest of the duck for a lentil dish. You’ve got me inspired!

  10. I made lentil soup the night before I made this, otherwise, I think I would have served them alongside the duck. Your meal looks delicious!

  11. Gorgeous – love the duck and your sides.

  12. I agree, this is certainly company worthy…and as good as you could get in a restaurant. Glad you enjoyed…my hubby was delighted for a change :)

  13. Lovely meal…your duck looks so delicious! Can’t wait to try this one.

  14. Gorgeous! Yours turned out so beautifully!

  15. Wonderful post. I was curious about peking ducks. Hope you post about the roasted potatoes; would love to hear about the flavor profile.

  16. Your whole meal looks excellent! I really like the idea of serving lentils as a side dish! I’m looking forward to roasting potatoes in the duck fat too.

  17. Everything about your dinner looks delicious! What impressed me most about this recipe is the “restaurant-quality” results.

  18. Were it not for the expense I could easily eat this every week. I finally got around to it for cooks choice. So glad I did.

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