Spiced Duck with Marmalade Syrup

Sticky-glazed duck is contrasted by a peppery marinade in this great family favourite by James Tanner
By James Tanner
Spiced Duck with Marmalade Syrup
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the syrup

  • 150 ml water
  • 3 tbsp marmalade
  • 60 g honey
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 heaped tbsp caster sugar

For the duck

  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 strips dried orange peel
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • small bunch coriander, chopped
  • 4 x 200 g duck breast, with skin


1. For the syrup Combine the water, marmalade, honey, cloves and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

1. For the duck marinade, tip the peppercorns, coriander seeds, dried orange peel and salt in a spice grinder. Process, until the spices resemble a fine powder. Add the garlic and coriander and blend again. You could use a mortar and pestle for grinding the spice mixture.

2. Using a sharp knife, make diagonal slashes across the duck breasts, at 3cm intervals. Rub the spice mixture into the duck and leave on one side, in the fridge, to marinate overnight.

3. Preheat an oven to 160C/gas 2. Heat an ovenproof frying pan on a medium heat, and fry the duck, skin side down, for about10 minutes - until the skin has started to colour, and the fat begun to seep out into the pan. Turn the breasts over and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes - until the duck breasts are golden.

4. With a knife, peel back the skin and continue cooking in the oven for about 8 minutes. The meat, by now, should be tender. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes, covered with foil. Preheat a grill until very hot.

5. Brush the duck breasts with the cooled spiced syrup, and place under a hot grill for a minute so, until the glaze caramelises. Accompany with a crisp green salad.

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