Asian cooking oftentimes sends a few major ingredients onto center stage and highlights the best qualities. Duck breast marinated in ponzu sauce and a compliment of orange is a visual delight as much as a flavorful appetizer. The duck fat browns and crisps while the middle stays tender and moist. Choose a duck breast with a thick layer of fat, score it uniformly, and heat up your heaviest (ideally cast iron) pan. After you take it off the heat, you can chill overnight, but let’s be honest — you’re going to have at this succulent bird as soon as it’s rested.




Prep Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time:  3 hours and 20 mins
Total Time: 3 hours and 25 mins
Servings: 4-6
Course: Appetizer

  • 1 Peking or mullard duck breast, boneless, skin-on with a hearty pad of fat
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bottle (10 fluid ounces, 296 milliliters) ponzu sauce
  • 1-2 oranges, for garnish
  1. Use a thin and sharp knife to score about 20 slashes into the skin of the duck breast. Slice about half way into the slab of fat, being careful not to expose the meat. Turn the breast 90º and cut 20 more slashes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium or high heat.  Sauté  the breast, skin side down, 8-10 mins for the Peking duck breast and 12-15 mins for the mullard duck breast. Turn the breast over to the fleshy side, sauté 1 min for the Peking duck and 2 mins for the mullard. The breast is done when the thermometer registers 135°F (57°C) for medium-rare and 140°F (60°C) for medium.
  3. Remove the breast from the skillet, and rest for 10 mins. The duck fat in pan can be reserved and stored in the fridge for future use.
  4. Place the breast in a spill proof bowl or container.  Pour the ponzu sauce into the container, cover the breast and marinate for at least 3 hours in the fridge.
  5. To serve, cut the breast diagonally into 1/4 inch (6 millimeters) slices. Arrange on a plate and serve with sliced oranges or side salad.

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