Duck Breast with Apricot Red Wine Sauce & Herb Orzo

  • Prep Time 10 min
  • Total Time 1 h
  • Serves: 6


  • 2 duck breasts (about 14 oz/400 g each)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 5 mL
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper 2 mL
  • 1 cup red wine 250 mL
  • 1/4 cup Sensations by Compliments Pure Apricot Jam 60 mL
  • 2 1/2 cups orzo 625 mL
  • 3 tbsp butter 45 mL
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves 45 mL
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme 15 mL


  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). With a sharp knife, score skin of duck breast in a criss-cross pattern (being careful to score only the fat layer, not the meat). Pat duck dry with paper towel. Season all over with pumpkin pie spice, salt and pepper. Heat large ovenproof skillet over low heat. Add duck breasts skin-side down. Cook 10 to 15 min. until skin is golden brown and crispy. The fat will slowly start to melt, remove any excess fat with spoon as it renders and reserve for another use.

  • Step 2

    Transfer duck (still skin-side down) to oven. Roast 8 to 10 min. until internal temperature reaches 140°F (60°C) for medium rare or 74°C (165°F) for well done. Transfer to wire rack, skin-side up. Let rest 10 min.

  • Step 3

    Meanwhile, wipe pan clean and place over medium-high heat. Stir in wine and jam; bring to a boil. Cook 8 to 10 min. until thick and syrupy.

  • Step 4

    At same time, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup (60 mL) pasta water. Heat another skillet set over medium-low heat. Add butter, swirling in pan, cook 1 to 2 min. until butter stops frothing and turns light brown. Stir in garlic, sage and thyme. Cook 1 min. until fragrant and sage is wilted. Stir in orzo and reserved pasta water. Plate pasta onto 6 dishes. Slice duck breasts and place overtop. Drizzle wine sauce over duck to serve.


Complete your meal with a side of sautéed rapini, roasted or boiled Brussels sprouts, or arugula with vinaigrette.

Store leftover duck fat in freezer. Use to roast potatoes for added flavour.

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Nutrition Facts

  • Nutrition Description Per serving (1/6 of the recipe):
  • Calories 510
  • Fat 16 g
  • Saturated Fat 6 g
  • Carbs 63 g
  • Sugar 9 g
  • Protein 30 g
  • Cholesterol 125 mg
  • Fibre 2 g
  • Sodium 310 mg