Duck Breast with a Fig Gastrique

Season the duck generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the duck skin side down in a 12” skillet; heat over medium-high heat. Cook, without flipping, until fat is rendered and skin is crisp, 5–6 minutes. Flip the duck; cook until browned and to desired doneness, about 3 minutes for medium rare or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the duck reads 130°. Transfer the duck to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing on an angle.

Heat the oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; cook, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the figs; cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in spices; cook until fragrant, 1—2 minutes. Add thehoney and vinegar and cook, stirring, until the mixture reduces to syrup consistency, about 20 minutes. Stir in theorange juice, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low; cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 1 hour. Remove pot from the heat. Set a strainer over a small bowl. Strain the sauce, scraping with a rubber spatula; discard the solids. To serve, let sauce come to room temperature; serve it spooned onto 2 serving plates. Place duck on top in creative pattern.


2 duck breasts, skin scored in a cross-hatch pattern

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 shallots, quartered

6 fresh or dried figs

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cumin

12 tsp. ground fennel seed

12 tsp. ground white pepper

12 cup honey

6 tbsp. sherry vinegar


12 cups fresh orange juice