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Pan-Seared Duck Breasts with Lingonberry Reduction

pan seared duck breast

Lingonberries, Sweden’s answer to the cranberry, have that sweet-tart flavor which beautifully balances the richness of the duck. I developed this recipe for my daughter and her friends when they popped in for a weeknight dinner. I love to use any leftover breast in salads or tacos the next day.

  • 4 ServingsServings


  • 2 (1-pound) boneless duck breasts
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons duck fat or canola oil

For the sauce

  • ¼ cup lingonberry preserves
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed blood oranges or Florida orange juice (from about 4 oranges)
  • 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar


Preheat the oven to 350°F. To help duck skin crisp up, dry it with a paper towel, then score the fat, being careful not to pierce the meat. Season all sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add duck breasts, skin-side down, and cook over medium heat until the skin is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Turn the breasts over and sear the meaty side for 3 minutes. Carefully remove the fat from the pan and deposit it in a heatproof container. When cool, cover, refrigerate, and save the duck fat for another time (it is liquid gold)! Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and roast breasts about 5 minutes for rare. An instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the breast will read 140°F; or 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare, about 150°F. Transfer the breasts to a plate and cover loosely with foil. While the duck rests, prepare the sauce. Combine jam, orange juice, vinegar, and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the sauce begins to bubble. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook 10 minutes, or until the sauce reduces by half and becomes syrupy. Slice the duck breasts on the diagonal. Place one-half breast on each of 4 plates, drizzle the sauce over the sliced duck.

Serve with Forbidden Rice

Prepare rice according to package directions, substituting chicken or vegetable broth for the water. Fluff rice with a fork (never stir with a spoon, it makes the rice clump), and toss in ½ cup dried cranberries or cherries and ½ cup chopped pecans.

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