Teriyaki Duck Breast

dsc_1328RECIPE #309, DAY #506


ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Teriyaki Duck Breasts” from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions*

TIMING: 20 minutes total, but with some marinating time in between

DIFFICULTY: Pretty easy

TOOLS: A heavy-bottomed skillet with plenty of room for the meat

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: Duck is known for being fatty, but that being accepted, duck is poultry and protein. I believe in variety as one of the pillars of healthy eating, so some duck here and there is going to be a good move. The sauce is fairly neutral.dsc_1327

EXPERIENCE: I realize that duck breast does not fall into my usually frugal ways. However, I had splurged on these breasts awhile ago for a specific recipe, but I never made said recipe. Instead, when I needed to scrimp this week, I found them in the freezer and decided to use them up.

I have little experience eating duck, and even less cooking it. But I watch Food Network. So I dove in. And I did fine, and I am thinking you would too. In the end, it tasted like eating something between a steak and pork chop, actually.

NOTES:  Make sure you get this nice and crispy and brown on the skin!

Also, you don’t really–according to science–have to marinade this. Basically just make the duck and 1/2 the marinade, and then cover it with the sauce at the end.

Please note that this recipe does not have the sort of dark, sweet glaze that has developed on some teriyaki meats. It’s just a nice-cooked piece of nice meat with a light, salty, tangy dressing drizzled over top. It’s good, it just seems more could have been done with the teriyaki sauce.


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, 3 pressed garlic cloves, and 1 tablespoon minced ginger. Set 1/4 of the sauce aside.
  2. Use 3/4s of the sauce to marinate 4 duck breasts scored across the fat. Refrigerate and marinate for several hours to overnight.
  3. Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the breasts from the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Place skin-side down in the pan and do not touch. Cook about 5 minutes until browned and crispy. Turn over and cook another 5 minutes.
  4. Place on a platter and allow to rest. Slice across the grain and drizzle with the reserved sauce.


Serve with a starch and a vegetable. They paired up well with the Algerian Baked Wedding Rice, Curried Apple Soup, and Raisin Chutney, as suggested in Fallon’s book.

*Recipe changed from the original.



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