Sauteed Duck Breasts with Apricot-Szechuan Peppercorn Sauce

By Sara Moulton for Sara's Weeknight Meals
Maple Leaf Farms is a past sponsor of Sara's Weeknight Meals.


Prep Time {15 min}

Cook Time {25 min}

Serving Size {4 servings}


1 tsp. Szechuan Peppercorns

4 Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast Filets

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1/3 cup Apricot Preserves

2 Tbsp. Distilled White Vinegar

1/4 tsp. Toasted Sesame Oil


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1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the Szechuan peppercorns and toast them, stirring continuously, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are fragrant. Transfer them to a small cup and let them cool, then crush them with a spoon and set them aside.

2. Score the skin on each duck breast half in a crisscross pattern. Season the breast halves on all sides with salt and black pepper to taste and place them, skin side down, in the same hot skillet. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the skin looks very crispy. Do not remove the fat as you go; the liquid fat in the pan helps to render out the fat in the skin.

3. When the duck skin is crisp, remove the duck to a plate, pour off almost all the fat from the pan, and reserve the fat for another use (such as sautéing potatoes). Return the duck to the skillet, meat side down, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more for medium-rare. Remove the duck to a clean plate, skin side up, cover it loosely with aluminum foil and set it aside for 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Combine the preserves, vinegar, and crushed Szechuan peppercorns in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, just until the preserves have melted; remove the pan from the heart and stir in the sesame oil, any duck juices from the plate, and salt to taste.

5. To serve, slice the duck diagonally into 1/4 -inch-thick slices and arrange on 4 serving plates. Stir any juices from carving the duck into the sauce. Spoon some of the sauce over each serving of duck.

Reviews  { write a review }

Dawn W. { over 2 years ago }

So easy to make. Delicious!


Everyone was impressed that mine looked just like the picture. So tasty!