Seared Duck Breast With Balsamic Onion Marmalade

Thursday, January 13th 2011, 1:57 pm
By: News On 6


4 fresh (not frozen) duck breast halves (skin on)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Balsamic Onion Marmalade:

2 large red onions (about 1 1/4 lbs) thinly sliced
3 tablespoon brown sugar
3/4 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Preheat oven to 375° to 400°F.

2. Score each breast shallowly in a crisscross fashion. Do NOT slice to the meat. These cuts allow the fat to render into the pan and the skin to get crispy.

3. Use either a cast iron skillet or stainless steel. DO NOT use a non-stick skillet. It needs to be oven proof.

4. Sprinkle each breast on both sides with salt and pepper. Being generous with the salt on the skin side, it helps dry out the skin to make it super crispy.

5. Heat skillet over medium high heat. Place breasts skin side down and cook for about 5 minutes or until the skin is golden brown. Remember watch it carefully to crisp the skin, but not overcook the meat. You might have to lower the temperature a little. Patience is the main ingredient for a perfect duck breast. You can reserve the fat that renders off and use with roasted potatoes. Remove the drippings from the skillet before placing in the oven.

6. Place your skillet with the breasts in the pre-heated oven. Cook for about 12 minutes or until medium rare. Remember watch your duck carefully because cooking time varies on how thick your breast is and how much has already cooked through on stove top. Use a thermometer to check the temperature, it should read about 125° to 130°F.

7. Do NOT turn your breasts. They still should be skin side down.

8. Remove to warm plate skin side up and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice about 1/2 inch thick and on the diagonal and serve with onion marmalade.

Balsamic Onion Marmalade


1. In a large heavy pan, combine the red onions and brown sugar. Cook over medium to medium high heat, stirring often, until the onions begin to caramelize about 20 minutes.

2. Stir in the wine and vinegar; increase the heat to medium high. Stir often, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.

3. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

Makes about 2 cups.