Duck Breasts with Grapefruit Sauce

Bird's the word

Recently one of our friends had luck hunting and did not need all the ducks he shot. We were more than happy to help take the extra meat. OK, we may have begged a little.

Wild duck is much leaner than store bought and it’s farm-raised brothers. If you have a fattier duck breast then after the breasts are cooked drain off all but two tablespoons of duck fat before making the sauce. Do not overcook the breasts or they will taste tough and all the subtle flavor will be lost. They taste best extremely rare but can be cooked to medium rare if you must. Also remember that the carcass and leftover bits make an excellent stock. The recipe was inspired by one in The Silver Spoon.

Duck Breasts with Grapefruit Sauce

  • 4 duck breasts deboned skin still on
  • 2 large grapefruit
  • 1 orange juiced
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 1 ounce Grand Marnier
  • Salt/pepper

Season duck breasts with salt and pepper. Cut pith and peel from grapefruit. Chop fruit into small pieces and mix with cinnamon and orange juice in a small bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes then cook mixture in a sauce pan until fruit breaks down. Strain into a bowl pressing all juice from solids until there are two cups of liquid. Set aside. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large ovenproof frying pan melt two tablespoons butter over medium high heat. Add breasts to pan and sear both sides of duck, about two minutes. Place pan in oven and finish cooking, about 3-5 minutes for rare, a bit longer for medium rare. Plate breasts and cover with foil. Strain fat from frying pan reserving two tablespoons. Add grapefruit sauces and cook down till thick, about four minutes. Add Grand Marnier and season with salt and pepper. Slice duck breasts and drizzle sauce over. Serve immediately or cold over spinach greens.

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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46 Responses to Duck Breasts with Grapefruit Sauce

  1. spree says:

    Greg that looks wonderful. Can’t say that I’ve ever had duck before but this preparation and the combination of flavors looks … Well … Wildly Exciting!

  2. Carolyn Chan says:

    Whaaaat? Who says things like “our friend went hunting” and you get the excess – how lucky are you guys I’m so jealous. And you did the duck justice with this dish.

  3. For a split second your photo wasn’t loading and then “bam!” it filled the screen and seriously, it took my breath away. This is so luscious.. I’m trying to decide what to make for Valentine’s Day and this looks like the winner. That sauce is the perfect color.. Plus I’ve never made duck before so it’s time I did!

  4. Love duck and game meat and this grapefruit sauce sounds like a perfect addition to the sweet meat. I want some now.

  5. Those look pretty good for wild duck breasts! But then again, I’ve never seen a wild duck breast πŸ™‚

  6. Its good to have friends like that. Really good!

  7. Lisa at fLVE says:

    This post got me licking my lips! Are you sure you guys didn’t go hunting yourself? I have not heard of friends sharing four ducks! Lol. Seriously, awesome! πŸ™‚

  8. peasepudding says:

    Lovely, duck is one of my favourites.

  9. Purely.. Kay says:

    I think Katherine gave your friend the eye and he just gave up the duck lol. But this looks absolutely delicious.. never thought about grapefruit sauce before.. nice.

  10. Kiki says:

    I love grapefruit and this sounds and looks delicious. I’m not very good with sauces, really, and this is the second one I found on your site that I’ll definitely make.

  11. Tandy says:

    wow, you are so lucky to get wild duck! I have some farmed duck in the freezer waiting for a special meal πŸ™‚

  12. Fantastic – havenΒ΄t had farmed duck, let alone wild duck for ages 😦 Love that sauce too!

  13. I’ve had duck breast before, but this sauce sounds interesting. I’ll have to try it.

  14. Fresh out of duck breast in the freezer, and not reordering for a bit, so I might have to do this with some crispy chicken thighs!

  15. Sissi says:

    Lucky you! I would also have begged for such delicacy! I have never heard of grapefruit sauce, but it sounds luscious.

  16. I love the seasonal citrus flavors πŸ™‚ My mom tricked me into eating duck as a kid once by telling me it was “shiny beef”. Oh the things I didn’t fully appreciate…

  17. Judy says:

    I’m one of those that need it to be med-rare, can’t handle the texture otherwise. This dish sounds delicious and the wonderful part about duck is that it is very quick to make.

  18. ChgoJohn says:

    That’s a beautiful platter of duck that you’ve served up! Your grapefruit sauce is a new one for me but one that I want to try.

  19. Karen says:

    Wild or farm raised, I agree with you that duck breast needs to be cooked rare. Your dish looks so good.

  20. Sad Man's Tongue: Rockabilly Bar & Bistro - Prague says:

    Not sure about grapefruit mate, but I will give it a try πŸ™‚

  21. Oh that looks perfect. I’d love to eat that :). Where are all my friends with leftover ducks?

  22. I’ve never cooked duck but my dear Mom did many times.That citrus would be a tasty foil to the fatty duck. Nice.

  23. What a stunning looking duck! And I love the flavors…I’m sure the citrus and the spice goes really well.

  24. Lisa says:

    I love duck – it’s my favorite fowl. I’ve only prepared it once, though, and it turned out looking more like my old shoes than your picture. Yummy – thank you for sharing.

  25. Caroline says:

    I can’t read ‘bird’s the word’ without singing Peter Griffin’s rendition of the song in my head, haha. This looks deeelicious though. Mmm and the sauce!

  26. I love duck breast and you do look like you cooked it to perfection. I’ve never tried a grapefruit sauce with it, but it sounds like a very nice way to cut the fatty richness with the tang of the grapefruit.

  27. Holy cow! I mean, Holy Duck! Looks delicious…my mouth is watering!!!!!

  28. WSW says:

    This looks FABULOUS. Will be trying it out ASAP. Thanks!

  29. Very interesting with that Grapefruit sauce.

  30. hotlyspiced says:

    That is a lovely looking duck breast and I think duck and citrus go so well together. I’ve cooked duck with cumquats before. I’m just curious though, did you have to pluck the ducks or did they come looking more like the ones I buy from my butcher?

    • They had to be plucked and cleaned. Our friend was nice enough to do that. He got most of the buckshot out and I got the rest out while butchering them. Katherine threw a picture of the birds before they were cooked on the Rufus Facebook page. You could see the buckshot holes.

  31. Courtney says:

    I’m wiping off the drool right now. Wow.

  32. Raymund says:

    Wow look at that perfectly cooked duck! So drooling now

  33. Charles says:

    Oh, how lucky are you? Beautiful wild duck?! Nice one. I like the idea of a slightly less fatty bird – it’s usually outrageously fatty. Grapefruit sauce sounds like a beautiful supplement – nice going πŸ™‚

  34. Heavenly.
    πŸ™‚ Mandy

  35. Asmita says:

    Hi Greg,
    That looks amazing. Love the sauce with the duck. Never cooked duck at home, very inspired after your post. Simply delicious!!!

  36. A_Boleyn says:

    I miss the days I used to have duck available to me … for free. πŸ™‚ I only ever served them with the classic cherry gastrique or used the meat in jambalaya or gumbo. As to cooking it rare or even medium rare … I’m a heathen and must have it cooked all the way through.

  37. Duck is so rarely utilized these days. It is so delicious though. This is absolutely lovely!

  38. Kristy says:

    I LOVE duck! Actually we all LOVE duck in this house. I can’t say that I’ve ever had fresh duck before, but my goodness it looks fabulous!

  39. alex says:

    This looks delicious, we sometimes get some ducks after shooting and this would be a great thing to do with them.

  40. Looks great! I have not had duck for years and years.

  41. ....RaeDi says:

    How lucky, they look delicious! I love duck!

  42. This sounds so good — perfect for the long winter citrus season. Now if I just knew a duck hunter.

  43. Pingback: Broiled Grapefruit and Other Ruby Red Favorites | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

  44. Pingback: Game Days | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

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