Honey and blood-orange glazed duck recipe

(Image courtesy of Gressinghamduck.co.uk)

2nd March 2021

By Luke Davis

As Winter draws to a close, we begin to enjoy the warm glow of an incoming Spring sunshine. The recent closure of the last of the duck seasons on the 20th February brings promises of blooming daffodils and shop aisles packed full of chocolate eggs. It also means that the availability of wild duck is soon to become scarce, although farm-raised duck remains available throughout the year. With this final opportunity to enjoy the rich, juicy, melt-in-the-mouth flavours of duck meat until the season opens again in September, this recipe for honey and blood-orange glazed duck breast is the perfect, nutritional and affordable seasonal recipe to acknowledge the end of the season and raise a glass to the next. Now this might sound like the kind of dish that you may find at a Michelin star restaurant and may question ‘can I make this on my student budget?’. Rest assured, we are bringing you a restaurant quality meal that won’t break the bank and is something fun and new to try!

Note: Duck is a red meat and generally contains less saturated fat than most other red meats. It is iron-rich and a great source of protein. British wild duck is a sustainable meat with a small environmental footprint as it is usually shot locally, butchered locally, and sold locally – ask your local independent butcher if you want to learn more! If purchasing farmed-raised duck, such as Gressingham Foods, make sure you look for the following stamps on food packaging: Red Tractor Assured, RSPCA Assured, and/or LEAF Marque.


· Duck breast - £2.00 each.

· 2 Large blood-oranges - £0.20 each.

· 2 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced or pressed - £0.70/bulb.

· Thyme, 2-3 sprigs - £0.50/bunch.

· 120g Runny Honey - £0.85/340g jar.

· Salt and Pepper



1. Pre-heat oven to 180C / Fan 160C / Gas Mark 4.

2. Remove duck breasts from packaging and place on a clean work surface with the fat/skin-side up.

3. Gently, pat the meat with kitchen paper or a clean tea-towel to remove any excess residue – ensure kitchen paper is binned immediately / tea towel is washed immediately to avoid cross-contamination from raw meat.

4. Using a sharp knife, score the fat width-ways all along the duck breast, trying not to cut through to the meat.

5. Take a generous pinch of salt and rub it onto the fat. Season lightly with pepper.

6. Leave to rest at room temperature for ten-to-fifteen minutes.

7. While the duck breast rests, zest one of the oranges and cut both in half.

8. Squeeze the juice from both oranges through a sieve into a jug or bowl, then set aside.

9. Place the duck breast into a cold frying pan, with the fat-side down, and place onto a low-medium heat: do not add any additional fat or oil! As the duck fat heats with the pan it will release a lot of the natural fats contained within the cut.

10. Leave in the pan for approximately 6-8 minutes until the skin is crispy and golden – pour off any excess fat as you cook to achieve a really crisp and flavoursome layer of fat.

11. Once golden and crisp, flip the breast over and seal the meat for 30 seconds.

12. Remove from heat and drain any excess fat. Place the duck breast on a baking tray with the skin-side up and place into the preheated oven for 4 minutes.

13. Meanwhile, place the frying pan back onto a low-medium heat and add 120g honey, squeezed orange juice, orange zest, half of the thyme, and garlic.

14. Reduce this mixture by half until loosely sticky – be sure not to overcook or heat too quickly, otherwise your glaze will become thick and set hard.

15. Remove the duck breasts from the oven and glaze generously, using a spoon or pastry-brush to coat the skin.

16. Return glazed breast to the oven for a further 2-3 minutes for rare; 5-6 minutes for well-done.

17. Remove from oven and leave to rest on baking tray for five minutes: resting the meat is crucial to ensuring it maintains is flavour and succulence.

18. Carve duck along the score-lines in thick-slices. Serve with the remaining glaze as a sauce and garnish with thyme.

Serving suggestion: boiled baby potatoes; root vegetables; green beans.

! Ensure you keep the duck fat from the pan, as this can be used to cook crisp roast potatoes.

Be sure to let us know if you try this recipe in the comments! We love to hear about your sustainable meals made with locally-sourced ingredients.

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