Alla Madonna del Piatto's Duck Breast in a Rosemary, Balsamic and Citrus Marinade

Duck Breast in a Rosemary, Balsamic and Citrus Marinade

A foolproof marinade recipe based on a classic French sweet and sour marinade.

Servings: 4

Pair With: Sangiovese or medium bodied red wine

Source: Recipe is from Letizia Mattiacci from Alla Madonna del Piatto Bed & Breakfast


Ingredients For the Marinade:
Juice of 1/2 lemon or of 1 orange
3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon red wine
1 tablespoon raw honey
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for the Duck Breast:
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 pound duck breast with skin
1 tablespoon olive oil


In a bowl large enough to fit the breast snugly, mix the marinade ingredients, add the garlic cloves and whole rosemary sprigs. Place the duck breast in the marinade, skin side up, cover and marinade in the refrigerator overnight.

Remove the duck breast from the marinade, pat dry and transfer, skin side down, into a heavy pan, better if cast iron. Reserve the marinade. Cook the breast on low heat for at least 5 minutes. Be patient as the duck fat renders out slowly, melting onto the bottom of the pan. This is the most important phase of the cooking by which you get lovely crispy skin. If the skin burns too soon, the breast will taste fatty and rubbery. When the skin turns golden, remove the breast, quickly drip away the fat and wipe the pan with paper towels. Now you need to be fast: bring the heat to high, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sear the skinless side of the breast all over, until slightly brown, about 2 minutes. Pour the marinade in the pan and reduce it, this takes less than 1/2 minute.

Remove the pan from heat but leave it on the stove, cover with a lid and 1 or 2 folded kitchen towels. You want to keep the pan as warm as possible. The breast will finish to cook with the indirect heat of the pan and will keep wonderfully moist. Wait for 5- 10 minutes, then slice thinly and serve.

Chef's Notes:

"Duck breast is virtually boneless, but it’s intensely flavorful and surprisingly easy to make. This is my foolproof recipe based on a classic French sweet and sour marinade. I have twisted it with Italian ingredients and herbs and I must say it is rather lovely."


Read about Touring & Tasting's visit to Alla Madonna del Piatto in this blog post.