Pan-Seared Duck Breasts with Spiced Candied Kumquat Sauce

By Marge Perry & David Bonom
This elegant and sophisticated spin on Duck L’Orange offers a complex combination of sweet, savory, and sour flavors over rich, meaty duck breasts. The candied kumquats may be made several days ahead.
  • Course: Entrée


  • Black Peppercorns
  • Candied kumquats
  • Chopped shallots
  • Cinnamon Stick
  • dry Riesling wine
  • garlic cloves
  • kumquats
  • Orange Juice
  • Sauce:
  • star anise pods
  • sugar
  • unsalted butter
  • unsalted chicken broth
  • Water


  1. For the kumquats combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar, and cook 1 minute. Stir in the kumquats, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until tender, 20-22 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve reserving 3/4 cup of the syrup.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°
  3. Meanwhile, combine the wine, shallots, garlic, star anise pods, cinnamon stick and black peppercorns in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid has reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Stir in the orange juice and return to a boil, reduce liquid to 1 1/4 cups about 5-6 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth, return to a boil and reduce to 1 1/2 cups, about 12-14 minutes
  4. With a sharp knife, score the skin of the duck breasts diagonally to create a1/2-inch-wide diamond pattern. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium. Season the duck with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Add the duck to the skillet, skin side down, and cook until browned, about 5-6 minutes. Turn the breasts over and cook 1 minute longer. Transfer the duck to a baking sheet. Set duck in the oven and roast until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion registers 125°
  5. While the duck is in the oven, pour off all but 1 tablespoon duck fat from the skillet. Heat the pan over medium and add the sauce mixture and reserved kumquat syrup
  6. Cut the duck crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices and serve topped with the kumquat sauce.