Duck Breasts with Mustard and Candied Kumquats Recipe

This delectable Duck Breasts with Mustard and Candied Kumquats recipe is a culinary delight that fuses robust flavors with sweet undertones. Featuring succulent duck breasts marinated in a tangy mustard-wine mixture, accompanied by sweetly candied kumquats, it is a symphony of flavors that is sure to impress.

Duck Breasts with Mustard and Candied Kumquats Recipe

Some of the ingredients such as kumquats and duck breasts might not be readily available in your pantry. Kumquats are small, oval citrus fruits that are eaten whole. They are available at most supermarkets and can also be found online. Duck breasts, on the other hand, are a gourmet ingredient, available at well-stocked supermarkets or at specialty meat shops.

Ingredients for Duck Breasts with Mustard and Candied Kumquats

Dry white wine: This will be used in the marinade to tenderize and flavor the duck breasts.

Olive oil: This is used for searing the duck breasts and for cooking the shallots and jalapeno.

Grainy mustard: This type of mustard adds a textural element to the dish and complements the other flavors.

Rosemary: This herb adds a fragrant touch to the marinade.

Duck breasts: The star of the dish. These are marinated, then seared to perfection.

Kumquats: These small citrus fruits are candied in sugar syrup to add a sweet and tangy element to the dish.

Sugar: Used to make the syrup for the candied kumquats.

Water: Used in the syrup for the candied kumquats.

Salt and freshly ground pepper: These are the basic seasonings for the duck breasts.

Shallots: These add a subtle onion flavor to the kumquat sauce.

Jalapeno: This adds a bit of heat to balance out the sweetness of the kumquats.

Dijon mustard: This creamy and slightly spicy mustard adds depth to the kumquat sauce.

One reader, Keene Hopkins says:

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The duck breasts with mustard and candied kumquats recipe is a culinary delight! The combination of savory duck with the sweet and tangy kumquats is simply divine. The flavors are perfectly balanced, and the dish is a showstopper. It's a must-try for anyone who loves gourmet cooking.

Keene Hopkins

Cooking Techniques for Duck Breasts with Mustard and Candied Kumquats

How to marinate the duck breasts: Combine the wine, olive oil, grainy mustard, and rosemary in a shallow dish. Add the duck breasts and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse.

How to candy the kumquats: Boil the kumquat slices in water until tender, then simmer them in a sugar syrup until they are candied and the syrup thickens.

How to cook the duck breasts: Sear the duck breasts in a skillet until browned and medium rare, then transfer them to warmed plates.

How to make the kumquat sauce: Cook shallots, jalapeño, and rosemary in the skillet, then add the reserved marinade and simmer until syrupy. Add the candied kumquats, dijon mustard, and grainy mustard, then season with salt and pepper before pouring over the duck breasts.

How To Make Duck Breasts with Mustard and Candied Kumquats

In this elegant dish, duck breasts are pan-fried and seared before being served in a sauce with candied kumquats, mustard, and jalapenos.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Refrigerate Time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour



  • ½cupdry white wine
  • 1tbsppure olive oil,(plus 1 tsp)
  • tspgrainy mustard
  • 1tsprosemary,chopped
  • duck breasts
  • 6ozkumquats
  • ½cupsugar
  • ½cupwater
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2mediumshallots
  • 1tbspdijon mustard


  1. In a shallow dish, combine the wine with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and ½ teaspoon each of the grainy mustard and rosemary

  2. Add the duck breasts and turn to coat.

  3. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil.

  5. Add the kumquat slices and simmer over moderately high heat for about 5 minutes until tender.

  6. Drain the kumquat slices.

  7. In the same saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil stirring to dissolve the sugar.

  8. Add the kumquat slices and simmer over moderate heat for 8 minutes.

  9. Transfer the kumquats along with the sugar syrup to a heatproof bowl.

  10. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

  11. Remove the duck breasts from the marinade; reserve the marinade.

  12. Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat for about 3 minutes until browned on the bottom.

  13. Turn the duck breasts, reduce the heat to moderate and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes until browned on the bottom and medium rare.

  14. Transfer the duck breasts to warmed plates.

  15. Add the shallots, jalapeño and remaining rosemary to the skillet and cook over moderately low heat for about 4 minutes until softened.

  16. Add the reserved duck marinade and simmer for about 3 minutes over moderately high heat until syrupy.

  17. Add the kumquats and their syrup and bring to a simmer.

  18. Blend in the Dijon mustard and remaining 1 teaspoon of grainy mustard and remove from the heat.

  19. Season with salt and pepper.

  20. Pour the kumquat sauce over the duck breasts and serve.


  • Calories: 439.57kcal
  • Fat: 11.96g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.02g
  • Trans Fat: 0.00g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 4.93g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.58g
  • Carbohydrates: 38.84g
  • Fiber: 4.35g
  • Sugar: 31.78g
  • Protein: 39.00g
  • Cholesterol: 143.80mg
  • Sodium: 830.62mg
  • Calcium: 56.63mg
  • Potassium: 734.14mg
  • Iron: 9.48mg
  • Vitamin A: 38.98µg
  • Vitamin C: 36.85mg

Pro Tip for Perfecting Duck Breasts with Mustard and Candied Kumquats

When preparing the duck breasts, ensure they are scored in a crisscross pattern. This allows the marinade to penetrate deeper into the meat, resulting in a more flavorful dish. Additionally, scoring the skin helps to render out the fat more effectively during cooking, leading to a crispier skin. Remember not to cut into the meat itself, just the skin and fat. This technique can greatly enhance the texture and taste of your duck breasts.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Duck Breast Recipe

Prep ahead: Marinate the duck breasts and prepare the candied kumquats a day in advance to save time on the day of cooking.

Multitask: While the duck breasts are marinating, prepare the candied kumquats to maximize efficiency in the kitchen.

Organize: Set out all the ingredients and equipment needed before starting to cook to ensure a smooth and efficient cooking process.

Use quality ingredients: Invest in high-quality duck breasts and fresh kumquats to enhance the flavors of the dish.

Sharp knife: Use a sharp knife for slicing the kumquats and shallots to make the prep work quicker and easier.

Efficient cooking: Cook the duck breasts and prepare the kumquat sauce simultaneously to save time and streamline the cooking process.

Taste as you go: Adjust the seasoning and flavors as you cook to avoid having to make extensive adjustments at the end.

Substitute Ingredients For Duck Breasts with Mustard and Candied Kumquats Recipe

  • duck breasts - Substitute with chicken breasts: Chicken breasts have a similar texture and can be cooked in a similar way to duck breasts. They also have a mild flavor that can work well with the mustard and candied kumquats.

  • kumquats - Substitute with oranges: Oranges can be used as a substitute for kumquats as they have a similar citrusy flavor and can be candied in the same way. Simply adjust the quantity to suit the recipe.

Plating Suggestions for Duck Breasts with Mustard and Candied Kumquats

  1. Elevate the duck breasts: Carefully slice the duck breasts and fan them out on the plate to create an elegant and visually appealing presentation. Ensure the slices are evenly arranged for a professional touch.

  2. Garnish with candied kumquats: Place the candied kumquats strategically around the duck breasts, adding a pop of color and a delightful sweet-tart flavor to complement the dish.

  3. Drizzle with kumquat sauce: Artfully drizzle the luscious kumquat sauce over the duck breasts, creating a beautiful and appetizing presentation. Use a squeeze bottle for precise and artistic plating.

  4. Add a touch of green: Sprinkle a few fresh herb leaves, such as parsley or microgreens, sparingly around the plate to provide a vibrant contrast and a hint of freshness.

  5. Incorporate edible flowers: Introduce a few edible flowers, such as nasturtiums or pansies, to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to the dish. Place them delicately around the plate for a visually stunning effect.

  6. Consider plate selection: Choose a pristine, white plate to showcase the vibrant colors of the dish and allow the ingredients to take center stage. The simplicity of the plate will enhance the overall presentation.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making This Duck Breast Recipe

  • Shallow dish: A shallow dish is used for marinating the duck breasts. It should be large enough to hold the duck breasts and the marinade.

  • Saucepan: A medium saucepan is used for boiling the kumquat slices and preparing the sugar syrup for candying the kumquats.

  • Skillet: A large skillet is used for cooking the duck breasts and preparing the kumquat sauce. It should be large enough to hold the duck breasts without overcrowding them.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for Duck Breasts with Mustard and Candied Kumquats

  • To store leftover duck breasts, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
  • The candied kumquats can be stored in their syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the cooked duck breasts. Wrap each breast individually in plastic wrap, then place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  • To freeze the candied kumquats, spread them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the kumquats to a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to reheat the frozen duck breasts, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the duck breasts in a baking dish. Cover the dish with foil and reheat for 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
  • To use the frozen candied kumquats, simply thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a few hours. They can be added to the reheated duck breasts or used as a garnish for other dishes.
  • If you have leftover mustard sauce, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat the sauce gently in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed through.

How To Reheat Leftover Duck Breasts with Mustard and Candied Kumquats

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover duck breasts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Brush the tops of the duck breasts with a thin layer of olive oil or butter to help keep them moist during reheating. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

  • For a quicker option, reheat the duck breasts in a skillet over medium heat. Add a small amount of olive oil or butter to the pan and cook the duck breasts for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are heated through and the skin is crispy.

  • To reheat the mustard and candied kumquat sauce, place it in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally until the sauce is warmed through. If the sauce seems too thick, you can add a small amount of water or chicken broth to thin it out.

  • If you have a sous vide machine, you can use it to reheat the duck breasts without drying them out. Place the duck breasts in a vacuum-sealed bag or a resealable plastic bag with the air removed. Set your sous vide machine to 140°F (60°C) and cook the duck breasts for 30-45 minutes, or until they are heated through.

  • For a unique twist, slice the leftover duck breasts and use them as a topping for a salad or sandwich. The mustard and candied kumquat sauce can be used as a dressing or spread, adding a burst of flavor to your dish.

Interesting Trivia About Duck Breasts and Candied Kumquats

Duck breasts with mustard and candied kumquats is a delightful dish that combines the rich flavors of duck with the tangy sweetness of candied kumquats. This recipe offers a perfect balance of savory and sweet, creating a unique and delicious dining experience.

Is Making Duck Breasts with Mustard and Candied Kumquats at Home Cost-Effective?

This duck breasts with mustard and candied kumquats recipe offers a delightful balance of flavors and textures. The cost-effectiveness depends on the availability and prices of the ingredients. While duck breasts and kumquats may be pricier, the dish's elegance and taste make it worth the investment for a special occasion. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $40-$50. The overall verdict for this recipe would be an 8, considering the unique combination of ingredients and the impressive end result.

Is This Duck Breast Recipe Healthy or Unhealthy?

The duck breasts with mustard and candied kumquats recipe is a delicious and flavorful dish, but it may not be the healthiest option. Here's an analysis of the recipe:

  • Duck breasts are high in fat, particularly saturated fat, which can contribute to heart disease and other health issues when consumed in excess.
  • The recipe calls for a significant amount of sugar to candy the kumquats, which adds empty calories and may contribute to blood sugar spikes.
  • The use of white wine and sugar syrup in the sauce also adds extra calories and sugar to the dish.
  • On the positive side, the recipe incorporates some healthy ingredients, such as shallots, jalapeño, and mustard, which provide flavor and some nutrients.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of sugar used to candy the kumquats, or replace some of the sugar with a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup.
  • Use a leaner protein source, such as chicken breasts or turkey cutlets, instead of duck breasts to reduce the overall fat content.
  • Increase the amount of vegetables in the dish by adding more shallots, jalapeños, or other nutrient-dense vegetables like bell peppers or zucchini.
  • Serve the duck breasts with a side of steamed or roasted vegetables to balance out the meal and add more fiber and nutrients.
  • Use a smaller amount of the candied kumquat sauce, or serve it on the side so that individuals can control their portion size.
  • Replace some of the white wine in the marinade with additional olive oil and mustard to reduce the alcohol content and increase the healthy fats.

By making these adjustments, you can still enjoy the delicious flavors of this dish while making it a bit healthier and more balanced.

Editor's Opinion on Duck Breasts with Mustard and Candied Kumquats

This duck breasts with mustard and candied kumquats recipe is a delightful combination of savory and sweet flavors. The marinade infuses the duck breasts with a depth of flavor, while the candied kumquats add a burst of citrusy sweetness. The sauce, with its blend of mustard and kumquat syrup, beautifully complements the richness of the duck. The dish is well-balanced and sophisticated, making it a perfect choice for a special occasion or a gourmet dinner. The recipe's instructions are clear and easy to follow, allowing home cooks to recreate this restaurant-worthy dish with confidence. Overall, it's a culinary masterpiece that is sure to impress.

Why trust this Duck Breasts with Mustard and Candied Kumquats Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures, ensuring a memorable dining experience. The succulent duck breasts are marinated in a flavorful blend of dry white wine, grainy mustard, and aromatic rosemary, infusing them with rich and savory notes. The addition of candied kumquats provides a delightful contrast of sweet and tangy flavors, elevating the dish to a new level of sophistication. The careful attention to detail in the preparation and cooking process guarantees a restaurant-quality outcome, making it a trustworthy choice for any culinary enthusiast.

Want to share your experience with this duck breast recipe or discuss tips for working with kumquats? Join the conversation in the Recipe Sharing forum and let's explore this delightful dish together!
How long should I marinate the duck breasts?
Marinate the duck breasts for at least 30 minutes. This allows the flavors to infuse into the meat, enhancing its taste.
Can I make the candied kumquats ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the candied kumquats ahead of time. They can be refrigerated for up to a week, making them a convenient make-ahead component for the dish.
Can I use a different type of mustard?
While the recipe calls for grainy and Dijon mustard, you can certainly experiment with different types of mustard to suit your taste preferences. However, the combination of grainy and Dijon mustard adds a delightful depth of flavor to the dish.
How do I know when the duck breasts are cooked to perfection?
The duck breasts are cooked to perfection when they are browned on the outside and medium-rare on the inside. This typically takes about 3 minutes on each side over moderate heat. However, cooking times may vary based on the thickness of the duck breasts.
Can I substitute the kumquats with a different fruit?
While kumquats add a unique sweet-tart flavor to the dish, you can substitute them with other citrus fruits like oranges or tangerines. However, keep in mind that the flavor profile will change accordingly.

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