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Duck Breasts In Muscat and Orange Juice

Lydie Marshall likes to marinate duck breasts in Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, a sweet wine from a village near where she lives. The dish is equally good made with port. The sauce is a reduction of the duck marinade and Enriched Chicken Stock.

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 cup Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise or ruby port
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Four 6-ounce boneless duck breasts, fat trimmed to 1/8 inch thick and scored (see Note)
  • 1 1/2 cups Enriched Chicken Stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. In a large baking dish, mix the Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise with the orange juice, soy sauce, lime juice and olive oil. Add the duck breasts and marinate for 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Remove the duck breasts from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Pour the marinade into a medium saucepan and add the Enriched Chicken Stock. Boil over moderately high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup and syrupy, about 35 minutes.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet. Add the duck breasts skin side down and season with salt and pepper. Cook the breasts over moderate heat until the skin is very crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn the breasts, cover and cook until the meat is rare, about 3 minutes. Transfer the breasts to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and let stand for 5 minutes. Slice the duck crosswise 1/4 inch thick and arrange on plates. Pass the sauce at the table.


Boneless duck breasts are available by mail-order from D'Artagnan.

Serve With

Sautéed potatoes.

Suggested Pairing

A medium-bodied red with intense fruit and a smooth texture will tie together the strong flavors of the sauce and the duck. Some excellent examples come from the Rhône.

Contributed By Photo © Reed Davis Published December 2000

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