Cooked Fruits, Jams, Jelly, duck, Entree, fruit, Recipes

Duck Breast with Spiced Kumquat Marmalade and Mustard Glaze

Duck breast meat is a special delicacy: unlike most poultry, it is at its best when pan-fried to medium-rare degree, very much like a good steak. The meat is highly flavorful, while the layer of fat adds more flavor, and a slight smokiness, when it is rendered in the pan.
While I often pair duck with orange, this time I had some nice fresh and highly aromatic kumquats at hand, and it made perfect sense to use them instead. I cooked some of the kumquats into a tasty marmalade, spiced with lavender buds, star anise and vanilla, while the rest of them ended up candied, to be used as a tasty garnish.
The tasty marmalade was then mixed with stone ground mustard, Tamari soy sauce and a few drops of hot sauce, and cooked quickly to a tasty sweet-salty-acidic-lightly-spicy glaze, that paired beautifully with the duck. Served on a bed of freshly steamed asparagus, a small portion of this dish can be served as a first course, while a larger portion can be served as main course. Try it and enjoy.

* Unlike in many recipes, I start cooking the duck in a cold pan. This method allows the fat to render more slowly and lets the meat cook more evenly.
* Don’t discard the rendered fat – is great for frying potatoes or eggs.
* Kumquats have plenty of natural pectin in them, so the marmalade will thicken without adding pectin powder.

Pan Seared Duck Breast with Spiced Kumquat Marmalade and Mustard Glaze
Makes: 2-4
Prep time: 10 minutes (not including candied kumquat and marmalade)
Cooking time: about 20 minutes

For the duck:

1 half duck breast (0.8 lbs/360 grams), at room temperature, (I used D’Artagnan moulard/magret)
½ Tbs coarse salt
¼ tsp four peppers mix
For the glaze:
¼ cup fresh mandarin juice
1 heaped Tbs spiced kumquat marmalade (recipe below)
1 tsp stone ground mustard
1 tsp Tamari sauce
Dash salt
1-2 drops hot sauce
For serving:
½ tsp culinary grade dried lavender buds
Candied kumquats (recipe below)
Steamed asparagus (click HERE for instructions)

1. Pat-dry the duck breast with paper towels. With a small sharp knife, score the fat side, in a criss-cross pattern, making sure not to cut all the way through to the meat. Season with salt and pepper on both sides, and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl, and set aside.
3. Using a paper towel, remove extra salt from the duck, and place it, fat side down, in a medium heavy bottom cold frying pan. Place the pan over medium heat, and fry until the fat starts to render. Holding the pan with the duck, pour the fat into a small bowl (keep for later use. See notes). Keep frying, and removing the fat that accumulates in the pan, for about 10 minutes, until the skin side is nicely browned.
4. Turn the duck over, and cook for about 5 minutes. Using kitchen tongs, hold the breast on the side, and fry for about a minute on each side. Do not overcook, you want the meat at medium-rare, or medium at the most. Transfer to a warm plate and keep in a warm place for 5-7 minutes.

5. Pour the glaze into the pan, place over medium-high heat, and mix thoroughly with a spatula. Cook for 1-2 minutes, to a thick glaze. Taste and adjust seasoning.

6. Place the breast on a cutting board, and spread a bit of the glaze over it. With a large sharp knife, slice it into thick slices. Place on a serving plate, with steamed asparagus (or any steamed vegetables of your choice). Add the rest of the glaze on the side. Garnish with candied kumquats, scatter the lavender over and serve.

Spiced Kumquat Marmalade
Makes: 1 cup
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

8 oz (227 grams) organic kumquat, washed well
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
Dash salt
½ tsp culinary grade dried lavender buds
1 star anise
¼ tsp vanilla essence

1. Roughly cut the kumquats and discard the seeds. Place in a small food processor, fitted with the metal blade. Process into coarse pulp. You should end up with 2/3 cup.

2. Place in a small pot and add the sugar, water, salt, lavender, star anise and vanilla. Cover the pot and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium, and cook covered for 5 minutes (this helps wash down the sugar on the sides). Uncover the pot and mix. Reduce the heat to low, and cook for about 40 minutes, mixing occasionally, until the marmalade is shiny and thick. Transfer into a jar and seal while still hot. Let cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge.

Candied Kumquats
½ cup
Prep time: 10 minutes
Waiting time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: about 40 minutes

4 oz (112 grams) organic kumquat, washed well
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water

1. Slice each kumquat into 4-5 slices. Place in a large pan, in one layer. Sprinkle the sugar over, and add the water from the side. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, until the sugar dissolves.

2. Place over medium-high heat, and cook for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to low, and cook for about 40 minutes, until the water evaporates and the kumquats are translucent.
3. Let cool to room temperature in the pan, before carefully transferring to wax paper. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge until using.

45 thoughts on “Duck Breast with Spiced Kumquat Marmalade and Mustard Glaze”

    1. Thank you Aspassia, your reply went to spam, for some reason, so I’m glad I found and retrieved it.
      I’m glad you liked the recipe, and hope you’ll enjoy it. How great it is to have a tree of these tasty fruits in your garden! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. My first experience with duck was pate in France. I changed my opinion of it after seeing all the duck farms scattered across the area and what they had to go through. Thankfully it is banned for sale now… The next time was when I tried to cook a whole duck and it was terribly greasy… Your duck breast is the answer to how to cook, eat and enjoy duck. Thanks for the recipe with that wonderful glaze 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Judi, I’m glad you liked the dish. It turned out so tasty.
      Cooking whole duck at home can be challenging, so I usually choose either the legs, or the breast, which is quicker to prepare.
      I’m already making my second batch of this tasty kumquat marmalade… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ronit, I absolutely love duck breast, and prepared as you have is my favorite preparation. However, I’ve not experienced such a glaze. The glaze sounds amazing and I agree that the slight tanginess of the cumquats must blend so well with the vanilla, anise, and lavender in the marmalade.

    Liked by 1 person

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