Twenty-Minute Honey Duck Breasts

Makes 4 servings


  • 2 large boneless duck breasts (about 2 pounds total), room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Step 1: Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Step 2: Using the point of a sharp knife, score the duck skin in a crosshatch pattern, cutting deeply into the layer of fat but taking care not to nick the meat. Season both sides of the breast with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat. You could use a regular pan here, but the Dutch oven really helps with the spattering. When the pan is really hot and a drop of water dance and evaporate quickly, add the duck breasts, skin side down. Cook for 8 minutes, or until the skin is brown and crisp.
Step 4: Turn the pieces over and cook for 3 minutes more for very rare breasts that will cook a little more in the oven. If you like the breasts slightly more cooked, keep the breasts in the pot for up to 2 minutes longer.
Step 5: Lift the breasts out of the Dutch oven and place onto a sheet of aluminum foil. Seal them loosely in the foil and put in the oven to keep warm.
Step 6: Pour off most of the fat from the pan and put the pot over medium heat. When the fat is warm, stir in the balsamic, honey, and lime juice, along with any duck juices at the bottom of the aluminum foil. Cook, stirring constantly and vigorously with a wooden spoon for 1 minute. 
Step 7: Return the breasts to the pot and turn once, cooking each side about 30 seconds. 
Step 8: Slice the duck and drizzle the sauce on top. Serve immediately.

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