This is a sponsored post for #CookoutWeek courtesy of one of our sponsors MapleLeafFarms. All opinions and content are my own.
Grilled duck breast is a wonderful recipe for the grill. It look impressive tastes delicious and takes very little time to cook. Think glamping or date in the backyard – you want to make an impression – here is your chance . These spiced orange glazed duck breasts hit all the right notes!
Duck is not as popular in the US as chicken, and to be fair these two are entirely different meats and should be treated as such. If you have had a well cooked duck , you know first hand how much more flavor it packs. Well what I am trying to say is that duck should be in the menu more often !
It was exciting to see Maple Leaf farms as one of the sponsors for cookout week . The ducks from Maple Leaf Farms are raised on all natural diet and not fed antibiotics or hormones. YAY !!! To know more about their values practices please check out their website for more information.
These are some of the products that they offer – the duck bacon was absolutely new to us. Boy was I glad to see that in in the package! May be I should take a break and remind you to enter the cookoutweek raffle. One of the goodies waiting for a lucky winner is a package containing duck , duck and more duck ? Go on, click that link …
I decided to grill the duck breast. This is actually a recipe inspired by the flavors of duck a l’orange and the lil one’s favorite – orange chicken ? . Duck goes very well with fruity flavors especially citrus and berries.
The duck breast is marinated in a simple marinade of citrus, oil , salt and pepper and grilled. Unlike chicken , duck is all dark meat – it means more flavor !! But even the breast has a layer of fat that if not rendered out properly will leave a greasy , non appealing taste .
Render it out correctly and you end up with a lovely skin – think peaking duck ! One of the traditional ways to do this is to slow roast the whole bird. This gives excellent results but takes time. All that thick skin becomes crispy and the meat stays tender and flavorful while the excess fat slowly drips out.
You get very comparable results when grilling . Instead of open fire, I chose to grill the duck on the grill pan. This way I could ensure that there were no flareups as the fat dripped off, and the meat did not have to sit on the rendered fat.
Score the skin in a cross hatch pattern almost all the way to the meat to help with the process. Do not cut through the meat . You will feel the difference as the knife cuts through the skin and touches the meat.
Grill the duck breasts skin side first to get the skin as crisp as possible and finish cooking by flipping the meat. I like it almost all the way cooked, but if you prefer medium rare that is the way to go !
The sauce can be easily made while the duck is cooking. Easy, simple – but looks and tastes absolutely divine.
Serve it with salad , or rice pilaf or grilled vegetables – the choice is yours . Here I have paired this with a an easy rice pilaf and grilled asparagus.
The duck tasted delicious , no gaminess or unwanted flavors here. The duck tasted clean and fresh. It was frozen and thawed but there was no discernible loss of flavors – two thumbs up !
And before I forget check out maple leaf farms Instagram feed – there are many drool worth duck recipes and inspirations there ..
Finally here is the recipe for Grilled duck with spiced orange sauce ..
Grilled Duck Breast With Spicy Orange Sauce
- 2 Maple Leaf Farms Boneless Duck Breasts 7.5 oz Each
- 1 Tbsp Neutral Oil vegetable / pure olive oil
- ¼ Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper About 10 turns on the pepper mill
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon juice
For Orange Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Orange Zest
- ½ C Fresh Squeezed Orange juice
- ½ Tsp Red Pepper Flakes Adjust to Taste
- ½ Tsp Hot sauce Optional (Notes)
- 1 Tbsp Orange Marmalade
- Salt To taste
- Sugar To taste
- Rice Pilaf
- Grilled Asparagus
- Pat dry the duck breasts (thaw if frozen). With a sharp knife score the skin in a cross hatch pattern to get a diamond pattern of 1 inch sides.
- Mix the marinate for the duck together. Pour over the duck breasts and rub into the skin gently .
- Heat the grill with a grill pan. Avoid direct heat grilling as the dripping duck fat can cause flare ups and burnt meat.
- Mix the orange juice, zest , chili flakes and hot sauce in a small sauce pan. Bring to boil over medium heat and reduce the temperature and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Add the marmalade and mix well. Taste and adjust salt and if needed add more hot sauce or sugar to balance e the flavors. Set aside.
- Keep the grill at medium heat. Oil the grill pan and place the duck breast skin side down. Let it cook for 4 to 5 minutes each side for medium - medium rare , and about 10 minutes each side for well done.
- Cook the skin side a little longer to help it crisp . For medium rare cook for about 10 minutes - 6 minutes with the skin side down and 4 minutes after flipping, Use a similar ratio to cook to your preference.
- Remove from the grill to a carving board . Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing .
- Thinly slice the duck breasts at an angle and serve with the spiced orange glaze.
Check out these other recipes in #cookoutWeek Collection