Boneless Breast of Mallard Duck

Thomas J. Story

Grilling is probably our favorite way to cook duck. The fat drips away, leaving a crispy skin and basting the meat so it stays moist. Prep and Cook Time: about 1 hour, plus marinating time. Notes: Take the duck off the grill while it's still quite rosy, since you'll be cooking it further under the broiler (grilled duck breast is at its juiciest and tenderest when cooked medium rare). Duck breasts are usually available at gourmet grocery stores.

Yield: Makes 4 to 8 servings, depending on heartiness of appetite for duck
Recipe from Sunset

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 234
  • Calories from fat: 25%
  • Protein: 15g
  • Fat: 6.5g
  • Saturated fat: 1.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 30g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 582mg
  • Cholesterol: 82mg


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 4 single duck breasts (1 lb. each)
  • About 3/4 cup thin-cut orange marmalade


  1. 1. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger, and tarragon for marinade and immerse duck breasts. Marinate 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. 2. Prepare charcoal grill for indirect heat: Light 50 to 60 briquettes and let burn until covered with ash, 20 to 30 minutes, and very hot (you can hold your hand 1 to 2 inches above grill level only 1 to 2 seconds). Push equal portions of the coals to the sides and set a drip pan filled 1/2 in. up sides with water in the cleared area. Grill duck skin side down over cleared area (close lid and keep vent holes open), basting with marinade, 6 minutes on each side. Move breasts over direct heat and cook, skin side down, until skin is well browned and crisp and meat is medium-rare (cut to check), 5 to 10 minutes. A small spray bottle filled with water is handy for taming any flames.
  3. 3. Place duck skin side up on an ovenproof platter and cover meat generously with marmalade. Broil in oven until marmalade bubbles and thickens. Garnish with parsley and serve.
  4. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
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