Eric Ripert's Spice-Crusted Duck Breast with Cumin-Scented Carrots Recipe

Spice-Crusted Duck
Angie Mosier


For the cumin-scented carrots:

  • 1 ½ pounds baby carrots, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/3 cup water (approximately)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ lemon

For the spiced duck breast:

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground star anise
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Four 6- to 8-ounce boneless duck breast halves, trimmed
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

My visit to a bee sanctuary in Sonoma, Calif., inspired me to start cooking more with honey. It is a versatile ingredient that adds a nice, floral sweetness. 

Honey is a fantastic product that not only provides incredible flavor and sweetness, but also is healthy. The honey-glazed duck breast recipe pairs very well with both the Trimbach gewurztraminer, which is always very food friendly, and the carmenere from Errazuriz made in Chile.


For the cumin-scented carrots:

Place the carrots in a large skillet with the butter, honey, and about 1/3 cup of water. Heat over medium-high heat and season the carrots with cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are lightly caramelized and tender, about 20 minutes. Finish the carrots with freshly squeezed lemon juice.

For the spiced duck breast:

Stir together the coriander, cumin, star anise, white pepper, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl to blend. Season the duck breasts on both sides with salt, then coat the skin side of the duck breasts with the spice mixture, forming a crust.

Divide the canola oil between 2 sauté pans and heat over medium heat. When the pans are hot, gently place 2 duck breasts, skin sides down, in each pan. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook until the skin is golden brown and crispy, 12-15 minutes. Turn the duck breasts over and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer the duck breasts to a cutting board to rest. Return the pans to the stove.

Divide the shallots between the pans and cook over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the orange juice, lemon juice, and honey, dividing equally. Simmer to reduce by half, about 8 minutes. Finish the pan sauce by whisking in the butter and seasoning to taste with salt. Combine the sauce into one pan.

Thinly slice the duck breasts crosswise and place the duck slices on 4 plates. Spoon some of the sauce over the duck and serve with the roasted carrots.


Calories per serving:

433 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Low Carb Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 96g 148%
  • Carbs 54g 18%
  • Saturated 41g 204%
  • Fiber 6g 25%
  • Trans 2g
  • Sugars 35g
  • Monounsaturated 32g
  • Polyunsaturated 11g
  • Protein 163g 326%
  • Cholesterol 733mg 244%
  • Sodium 2,288mg 95%
  • Calcium 175mg 18%
  • Magnesium 240mg 60%
  • Potassium 2,811mg 80%
  • Iron 43mg 236%
  • Zinc 7mg 47%
  • Phosphorus 1,617mg 231%
  • Vitamin A 596µg 66%
  • Vitamin C 84mg 140%
  • Thiamin (B1) 3mg 230%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 3mg 151%
  • Niacin (B3) 28mg 141%
  • Vitamin B6 6mg 276%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 258µg 64%
  • Vitamin B12 6µg 102%
  • Vitamin D 1µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 4mg 22%
  • Vitamin K 17µg 22%
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