Food & Drink

Cast-Iron-Seared Duck Breasts with Orange-Ginger Marmalade

A sweet and savory duck crostini

Photo: Peter Frank Edwards


  • Duck

    • 6 skin-on breasts from 3 wild ducks, preferably larger ducks such as mallards, blacks, or pintails

    • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

    • 2 cups milk

    • 2 tbsp. honey

    • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

    • 5 tbsp. duck fat or peanut oil

    • 1 lb. duck foie gras, sliced into about 24 1/4-inch pieces (optional, but highly recommended)

  • Orange-Ginger Marmalade

    • 4 oz. sweet orange marmalade

    • 1/8 cup water

    • 1/4 cup orange juice

    • 1 knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced

    • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

    • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter

  • Bread

    • 1 loaf quality sourdough

    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. For the duck:

    Clean duck breasts of any excess feathers and be sure to check for any hidden birdshot. Combine duck breasts, rosemary, garlic, milk, and honey, and let sit overnight. Drain, pat dry with paper towels, and season liberally with salt and black pepper.

  2. Heat cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add duck fat or peanut oil. Once the pan is hot, add duck breasts, skin side down. Sear about 2 to 3 minutes, or until skin is crispy, then flip and continue cooking for about 5 to 7 minutes, basting the breasts with fat. Cook them to an internal temperature of 130 to 135 degrees, then place on a cutting board and let rest for several minutes.


  3. Slice duck breasts thinly and place each slice on a piece of grilled sourdough (see below). If using foie gras, quickly season it with salt and pepper. Sear in the same pan, with the remaining duck fat or oil, for about 30 seconds on each side.

  4. Place a piece of the seared foie gras on top of the duck breast, and drizzle with orange-ginger marmalade.

  5. For the marmalade:

    Combine marmalade, water, orange juice, and ginger in a small saucepan. Heat gently over low heat for 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper,  then swirl in butter and hold warm.

  6. For the bread:

    Cut loaf in half lengthwise, and then slice each half into thin pieces and coat with olive oil. Grill or toast lightly.

Recipe from chef Walter Bundy of Lemaire in Richmond, Virginia