Duck Breasts with Ancho Chile Dulce De Leche Glaze

This wonderfully exotic recipe for duck breasts with ancho chile dulce de leche glaze is courtesy of chef Aaron Sanchez.

  • Servings: 6
Recipe continues below this recipe video

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, July Summer 2008


  • 3 dried ancho chiles (1 1/4 ounces), stemmed and seeded
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup prepared dulce de leche
  • 1/2 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  • 6 Muscovy duck breast halves (3/4 pound each), rinsed, patted dry, trimmed of excess fat, and scored
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro


  1. Place chiles in a small, dry, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, and toast until slightly darkened, turning once, about 40 seconds. Transfer to a small heatproof bowl and pour over boiling water. Let stand until softened, about 20 minutes.

  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chiles to the jar of a blender. Add 1 cup soaking liquid and garlic; blend until smooth. Set aside.

  3. Place orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until liquid is reduced by half; add dulce de leche and chicken stock. Bring mixture to a simmer and immediately remove from heat; set aside.

  4. Working in batches, season duck with salt and pepper and place, skin side down, in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. As fat begins to render out, drain into a heatproof bowl and discard or save for another use. Continue cooking until skin is well-browned, about 15 minutes. Turn, and continue cooking duck until meat is browned, about 3 minutes more. Transfer duck to a plate and repeat process with remaining duck breasts.

  5. Return all duck breasts to skillet, cover, and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally in the center of a breast registers 135 degrees for medium-rare, about 6 minutes. Transfer duck to a carving board and let stand, uncovered.

  6. Pour out and discard all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet. Add reserved chile and orange juice mixtures to skillet, along with any duck juices that have accumulated on the cutting board. Place over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, scraping up any browned bits that have accumulated in the bottom of the skillet, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Whisk in butter until melted. Season with salt, and chopped cilantro.

  7. Slice duck breasts and serve immediately with sauce.


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