Grilled duck breasts with orange-balsamic glaze

Total Time
26 min
8 min
18 min
Remember Duck à l’Orange? The dish that was the height of elegance in the sixties soon became a culinary cliché. This version brings it back in all its glory. Duck breasts are now available at many supermarkets and from the butcher; however, they are very likely to be frozen. Be sure they are solidly frozen and haven’t begun to thaw. If you’re lucky enough to find them fresh, store them in the refrigerator in their original packaging and cook them within two days. If not previously frozen, duck can be stored in the freezer for up to six months, then thawed in the refrigerator overnight.


Unsweetened orange juice

1¼ cup(s)

Balsamic vinegar

½ cup(s)

Uncooked duck without skin

1¾ pound(s), (1 whole boneless breast), trimmed of visiable fat, separated into 4 peices

Uncooked shallot(s)

2 small, minced

Table wine

½ cup(s), dry red, or reduced-sodium chicken broth

Orange zest

1 Tbsp, grated

Table salt

¼ tsp

White pepper

tsp, freshly ground, or to taste


1 bunch(es), torn into pieces (optional)


  1. Combine 1 cup of the orange juice and 1⁄4 cup of the vinegar in a large zip-close plastic bag; add the duck. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag; turn to coat the duck. Refrigerate, turning the bag occasionally, at least 2 hours or overnight. Drain and discard the marinade.
  2. Spray the grill rack with nonstick spray; prepare the grill.
  3. Meanwhile, to prepare the glaze, combine the shallots, wine or broth, the remaining 1⁄4 cup each orange juice and vinegar, the orange zest, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, watching carefully and stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Grill the duck, turning once and basting with the glaze, until the juices run clear when pierced with a fork, about 8 minutes per side.
  5. Transfer the duck to a carving board, let cool slightly. Thinly slice lengthwise. Arrange the slices on serving plates and drizzle with any leftover glaze. Serve each portion with 1⁄3 cup of the arugula, if using. Yields 3 ounces of duck per serving.