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Coriander-Rubbed Duck Breasts with Glazed Oranges

Coriander-Rubbed Duck Breasts with Glazed Oranges

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Browning the duck breasts not only adds color and flavor, but also melts away a good portion of the fat from the very thick skin, making the duck more palatable. When browning foods, especially poultry and meats, allow plenty of space between the pieces. If the pieces are too close together, the food will steam rather than brown and the desired taste will be lacking. For example, when cooking 4 duck breast halves, use 1 very large pan or 2 medium pans to give them ample room.


For the spice rub:

  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • Grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 4 boneless duck breast halves, each 3⁄4 lb.
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped shallot
  • 4 large seedless oranges, peeled with a knife
     and cut into rounds 3⁄8 inch thick
  • 3 Tbs. orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier,
     or fresh orange juice
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1⁄4 tsp. dried
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups wild rice and brown rice blend, cooked
     according to package directions


Preheat an oven to 400°F.

To make the spice rub, in a small bowl, combine the coriander, salt, pepper and orange zest.

Using a sharp knife, score the duck skin in a crosshatch pattern, taking care not to cut into the meat. Rub the spice mixture all over the duck breasts.

Place the duck breasts, skin side down, in a cold, large nonstick fry pan with an ovenproof handle. Place over medium heat and cook until the skin is golden brown, about 10 minutes. (Don't preheat the pan; gradual heating will render the most fat.) Pour off the accumulated fat from the pan. Turn the breasts over and immediately transfer the pan to the oven. Roast until medium-rare (somewhat soft with a bit of resilience when pressed in the center), about 10 minutes. Transfer the duck breasts to a plate and cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the pan and place over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Add the oranges, liqueur, vinegar and thyme and cook, turning the oranges occasionally, until they are heated through and the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

One at a time, place each duck breast on a carving board and slice on the diagonal across the grain. Slip the knife under the sliced duck, transfer to individual plates and fan out the slices. Divide the oranges and the rice among the plates. Alternatively, transfer the rice to a large warmed platter and arrange the duck slices and oranges on top of the rice. Serve hot. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Chicken,by Rick Rodgers (Simon & Schuster, 2001).