Twice Cooked Duck Breast with Citrus Sauce

This recipe is from Kylie Kwong’s cookbook, “It Tastes Better”. You can also find it on the MasterChef website here. I originally cooked this as a whole duck and I remember saying to the DB; “this is a lot of work, I don’t think I’ll bother doing this again”. Then when we ate it we both said; “we are SO cooking this again”. It was so delicious!

It has been awhile since that first time and I had a craving for duck. I gave it a go with duck breast only, instead of the whole duck, and it worked a treat. The recipe below has been adapted for duck breast only, if you are doing a whole duck, see the link above.

This recipe needs to be started the day before.


2 duck breast
½ tablespoon of Sichuan pepper
1½ tablespoon salt flakes
sunflower oil for deep frying

Citrus Sauce:
½ cup water
½ cup brown sugar
40ml fish sauce
3 star anise
1 cinnamon quill
½ orange, peeled and sliced crossways
juice of 2 small limes


Dry roast the peppercorns and salt flakes in a heavy based pan. When the peppercorns begin to “pop” and become aromatic, remove from the heat. Allow to cool and then grind to a powder.

Rinse the duck breast and pat dry. Rub the duck all over with the salt and pepper mix. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Place the duck breast in a steamer basket over a saucepan of boiling water. Steam, covered  for approximately 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the breast runs with clear juices.

Remove the duck breast and place on a tray with the skin side up, to drain. Allow to cool slightly and then transfer to the refrigerator to fully cool.

Citrus Sauce:
Combine the water and the sugar in a small pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Add the fish sauce and spices and simmer for a further minute. Stir through he lime juice and orange and remove from the stove.

Lightly toss the cooled duck breast in flour to coat and shake off any excess.

Heat the oil in a deep fryer or wok until the surface starts to shimmer slightly. Deep-fry the duck breast for about 6 minutes until well browned and crispy. Remove from the oil and drain well on paper towel, then leave to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes.

Gently re-heat the citrus sauce.

Slice the duck breast and arrange on a service plate, spoon over the hot sauce and serve immediately.

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