Gavin Kaysen's Duck a l'Orange

Many people approach duck with high heat for a quick sear before they put it in the oven to finish, but the secret to achieving perfectly crispy skin is time. With this method, you’ll cook it at a lower temperature for a bit longer, but you can cook it from start to finish on the stovetop—with better results.



For the Spice Crust:

  • ½ teaspoon fennel pollen
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 1 tablespoon pink peppercorns, toasted and crushed

For the Orange Glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • Grated zest and juice of 2 oranges

For the Duck Breast:

  • 2 Moulard duck breasts
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed, with skin on
  • 3 sprigs thyme


For the Spice Crust:

  1. In a small bowl combine the fennel pollen and crushed spices and set aside.

For the Orange Glaze:

  1. In an All-Clad D3 Stainless 1.5 Quart Sauce Pan, cook the honey over high heat until bubbles form on the edges. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until it takes on a deep amber color.
  2. Quickly add the Champagne vinegar to stop the caramelization, stirring vigorously.
  3. Add the orange zest and orange juice and continue to stir, returning to medium-high heat until the liquid starts to thicken and take on a syrupy consistency, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and set aside

For the Duck Breast:

  1. With a sharp paring knife, score the skin of the duck breasts lightly in a crosshatch pattern, being careful to not cut into the meat.
  2. Season both sides of the duck breasts with salt and pepper
  3. In an All-Clad D3 Stainless 4 Quart Sauté Pan, warm the avocado oil over medium heat.
  4. Place the duck breasts skin-side down in the sauté pan, making sure they don’t touch each other. Cook over medium heat.
  5. Occasionally you’ll need to pour out excess duck fat. To do so, hold the sauté pan with one hand while pressing the duck breasts with tongs or your fingertips to the pan. Tilt the pan slowly to pour out excess fat into a glass or metal container. Repeat as needed while cooking.
  6. Rotate the duck breast every few minutes until the skin is golden brown and crispy, 10 to 20 minutes.
  7. Add the butter, crushed garlic, and thyme. Increase the heat to medium-high and melt the butter until it becomes frothy.
  8. Tilt the pan toward you with one hand to pool the butter. With a spoon, scoop butter from this pool on top of the duck breasts to baste constantly until the meat is done, about 2 minutes.
  9. The meat will turn from red to brown and should reach an internal temperature of 130°F.
  10. Place the duck on an All-Clad Pro-Release Nonstick Bakeware, Cooling & Baking Rack, skin-side up, and let rest for 3 minutes.
  11. With a pastry brush, brush the duck skin with the orange glaze and sprinkle a generous amount of the spice crust. Slice into 1-inch pieces against the grain and serve.

Pro Tip:

Pro Tip


Gavin Kaysen

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