Apricot Glazed Pan-Roasted Duck Breast Recipe

Apricot Glazed Pan-Roasted Duck Breast Recipe Recipe

After our wonderful trip to Italy, we decided to stop in my home country so baby Aria could get to spend some time with her maternal grandparents. We hadn't been to Paris in approximately 9 months; Papa and Maman are thrilled to have Aria at their home! They've been feeding her succulent French meals and today, I decided to prepare Papa's favorite meal: magret de canard.

Maman is very health-conscious, so Papa hasn't had duck since the last time we met. I told him we'd go out for a run after lunch. And to make Maman feel less guilty, I added some fruit to the meat. I puréed fresh ripe apricots and basted the duck with a generous coating of the sweet and spicy glaze. Healthy? Maybe not, but at least we can feel good about it! 


Yields: 2 servings

2 duck breasts
8 fresh ripe apricots, pitted
1½ teaspoons coarse salt
½ teaspoon black peppercorns, freshly ground
1 star anise, freshly ground
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, freshly grated
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper


In a blender, combine the apricots, star anise, ginger, honey, vinegar and cayenne pepper. Blend until smooth.

Using a sharp knife, score the fat of the duck breasts in a criss-cross pattern. Baste the meat side of the duck with half the apricot mixture. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Remove the meat from the refrigerator and let it come back to room temperature before cooking.

Pat dry the meat with paper towels. Season the meat side with salt and pepper. Place the probe of a digital oven-proof thermometer in the center of one of the pieces. Set the thermometer at 145-155°F, depending on how pink you like the meat.

 (Note: The IKEA brand thermometer has a magnet so I can stick it to the hood of my stove while searing the meat.)

Warm a heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is smoking hot, place the duck breasts in the skillet, fat side down, to render off the fat, about 5 minutes. Flip the meat over and sear for 1 minute. Note: It's important that you not pierce the meat once it's seared, so it stays moist and tender. 

Using tongs, transfer the meat, fat side down again, to a baking pan and place into the oven to roast for about 15 minutes or until the thermometer reaches 155°F. Turn off the oven. Remove the baking pan from the oven. Baste the duck with 1 tablespoons apricot glaze. Cover with a piece of aluminum foil. Let the meat sit for at least 15 minutes as the meat temperature will rise by a few degrees right after it's transferred from the oven (see tips). Transfer to a cutting board. Thinly slice the duck, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and cover with the remaining apricot glaze.

Serve immediately with caramelized Fuyu persimmons and a green salad.

Bon appétit!


The acidity from the fruits and vinegar acts as a great meat tenderizer.

You can substitute any other ripe fruits for the apricots. 

The final internal temperature of the duck shouldn't exceed 165°F.

You can use the leftover duck fat to brown some potatoes (pommes rissolées); they're delicious!

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on June 24, 2014.


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