Jack Daniel’s Pan-Seared Duck with Orange Balsamic Glaze

Jack Daniel’s presents this recipe as part of their current advertising campaign for their Single Barrel by tagging it with “a meal that lives up to our standard.” It is the duck breast recipe that finally lives up to our expectations of a perfect seared duck. Did I say medium rare?

My wife and I are cooks. I do the braising and grilling, she does the fancy stuff. I made bread, she makes cakes. Over the past six months we both wanted to master making duck breast. We tried at least six different recipes and we were not happy with the results.

This one is perfect.

Orange Balsamic Glaze:

½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

Whisk together in a small bowl and set aside.


4 (or 2) duck breasts
salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350o. On the fat side of the duck breast score a criss-cross pattern, being careful not to cut into the meat. Pat duck breasts dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add duck, fat side down and sear, without moving (peaking to see if it is done), for 5 minutes. Flip and cook 3 minutes more. (Our note: Save the excess duck fat while searing for roasted potatoes and onions. Yum!)

Transfer duck to baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes or until a thermometer reaches between 125 and 130odegrees for medium. (Our note: ovens are different and we discovered that 135o was a perfect medium rare for us.) Remove from oven and set aside.

Remove (additional) fat from used skillet and return to medium-high heat, add glaze and simmer, for about 3 minutes, reducing by half until glaze is thick and glossy. Pour over duck breasts and serve.

Special Note: I had my Jack Daniel’s straight while the duck breasts cooked.



About Author

Josh is an author, former blogger, media critic, x-Capitol Hill legislative aide and White House assistant, business consultant, idea marketing specialist, a squatter at the global village virtual bar and an alpine rock gardener where he lives in Woodstock, NY.