Lacquered duck with oranges and grilled figs

Lacquered spiced duck 1

Do you like duck? I do, quite obviously as this is the third duck recipe I’m talking about! I’ve made this and this so often I wanted something new. A quick search on the bbcgoodfood website found me this recipe that’s simple but delivers on the presentation wow factor.

The original recipe here suggested cooking the duck skin side down first starting from a cold pan which was then heated, and then finishing it in the oven for 8-12 mins. I put it in the oven for 8 mins and rested it for 5 mins. The bottom half of the breast was lovely and medium pink but the top was pretty well done from the initial cooking on the pan.

So! To cut an already long story short, heat the pan up first to a medium high heat and place the duck breast skin side down, sear it until the skin is a lovely golden shade of brown, then put it in the oven skin side up for 7-8 mins for a lovely tender medium level of doneness and up to 10 mins if you prefer your meat well done.

Also the recipe on the website used the syrup for 4 breasts. I used the same amount for just one breast and found it to be just enough to baste it in the oven and some left over to eat with. Feel free to multiply the recipe accordingly for 2, 3 or even 4 breasts.

This is so great to impress your other half or date with! Good luck!

Lacquered spiced duck 2


  • 1 duck breast, weighing about 200g/8oz
  • 1 orange, peeled and sliced across into rounds
  • 2 ripe figs, stalks trimmed
  • 1 tsp olive oil

For the syrup

  • 2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 star anise
  • 4 bay leaves, plus extra for garnish
  1. Put all the syrup ingredients in a small, heavy-based saucepan. Add 6 tbsp water, season lightly with salt and pepper and simmer over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes until the syrup has reduced by just over half and is very sticky. Keep warm over a low heat.
  2. Heat a dry pan over medium high heat. Score the duck skin and breasts diagonally one way, then the other to create diamonds. Be careful not to cut through the flesh. Put the duck breasts skin side down and fry until the skin is golden. The fat will render from the duck during cooking, no additional oil is required.
  3. Preheat the oven to fan 180C/ conventional 200C/gas 6. Sit the duck breasts skin side up in a roasting tin. Spoon a little of the syrup on top and leave for 2-3 minutes until sticky. Continue basting the duck with the syrup in the roasting tin and extra from the pan every 2-3 minutes until there are three or four layers and you have used up most of the syrup. If it gets too thick, just add 1-2 tbsp water. Conversely, if it’s too thin, add another 1 tbsp sugar. Roast the duck for 7-8 minutes for medium done and 10 minutes for well done.
  4. Meanwhile, cut the figs in half lengthways, tip into a bowl and toss with the olive oil. Heat a pan on the hob until very hot, then chargrill the figs until caramelised on both sides.
  5. Once the duck is cooked, take it out of the oven and let it rest covered for 5 minutes, then slice each breast at an angle to 1cm thick slices. Transfer to a plate and serve with the orange slices and figs, top with the leftover syrup and garnish with extra bay leaves and the star anise from the syrup.

Lacquered spiced duck 3


2 thoughts on “Lacquered duck with oranges and grilled figs

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