Thursday, August 19, 2010

Five Spice Duck Breast on Orange Fennel Salad

I had long been intimidated by the idea of cooking duck breast, and enjoyed it only when dining out.  Well, no more after realizing that although it might sound sophisticated, duck is much like any other meat.  It simply requires proper cooking technique.  So leave your fears at the door, and serve your duck while it is still gloriously pink in the center and not overcooked.  Do however follow handling guidelines as for any meat, by keeping it refrigerated until ready to cook, keeping your work surface clean and making sure to wash up after handling, like you would with any meat or fish product. 
This super easy recipe is sure to impress.  All you need is a grill pan or frying pan, a duck breast and about a teaspoon or two of  Five Spice Powder for the meat rub.  You can purchase the five spice powder in most Asian or specialty grocery stores.  It's basically composed of five spices; fennel or star anise, cloves, Szechuan peppercorns and cinnamon. Pictured is the five spice duck breast appetizer served on a bed of fennel and orange salad, an earlier post.

Five Spice Duck Breast:
1 duck breast
1-2 teaspoons five spice powder
Salt and pepper 
2 tablespoons oil

Score the meat in a crosswise pattern, as indicated in the photo, making sure not to cut through the meat.

 Take a teaspoon or two of five-spice powder and rub both sides of the duck breasts.  Season the meat with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Heat a grill pan or frying pan with 2-3 tablespoons oil, on medium high heat.  Place the duck breast, skin side down on the hot pan and sear for 3-4 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium, turn and cook an additional  6-8 minutes.  Transfer to board and allow to sit for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve medium rare.


  1. Nicely done! It looks gorgeous on top of your fennel and orange salad too. I for one am totally intimidated by cooking duck, thank you for the encouragement and inspiration!

  2. Susie,I'm so glad the post was helpul. If you do attempt to cook duck, let me know how it turns out.