Duck Breast with Orange Sauce


I’ve kinda always been baffled by how much chicken breast Swedes eat. Chicken is great and all, I mean… except for the breast. It is always, ALWAYS overcooked which makes it papery dry, flavorless and completely uninteresting. It can be great, but that really demands a pretty good chef I feel.

So wasn’t this supposed to be about duck? Well yes. Since I’ve started eating duck more frequently I’ve been equally baffled, but the other way around. Basically, no one is eating duck, but compared to the bland chicken, the duck breast is amazing! How to describe it…? It has a certain gamey (duckey) flavor that I guess some people do not like. It’s very meaty as bird meats go and the breast is very tender and juicy. Kind of a mix of dear and chicken maybe, with more fat (from the skin).

Anyway, more people should eat duck is what I’m trying to say. And stop eating so much chicken breast, it really is settling for mediocrity.

This recipe uses a mix of pan frying and sous vide cooking. The pan-frying gives wonderfully crispy skin and the sous vide ensures just perfect meat. Sous vide is a great technique when you’re cooking meat and you really want it to come out a certain way (and really… when don’t you want that?). A sous vide machine is basically a water bath with a thermostat and a timer. It allows you to immerse the meat (sealed in a vacuum bag) in water at an exact temperature for an extended time. So instead of cooking the meat at a high temperature (e.g. against the bottom of a frying pan) and trying to time it so that the core of the meat is juuuuust right, with sous vide, you cook the meat at the temperature at which you prefer the meat to be eaten at, but for a long time. Thus the meat comes out perfectly throughout the entire piece, instead of being overcooked at the surface and perfect in the center.

It’s pretty easy to achieve kinda almost the same great result with only pan-frying, keeping tabs on the core meat temperature with a cooking thermometer.

The duck and orange sauce is a classic coupling and fit really well together. I haven’t found a side that I fell really completes the dish though. This time I went for roasted potatoes, orange braised fennel and fried kale. I really liked the fennel and kale but kinda botched the potatoes, which put me of them as a concept a bit. If you have a favorite side dish to go with duck, please let me know, I’m on the hunt for a favorite 🙂

Special Equipment

  • A sous vide apparatus
  • A vacum sealer
Created with Sketch. 3 hours (of which 2-2.5 hours is waiting) Created with Sketch. 5


  • For the duck
  • 700 gduck breast (usually two pieces)
  • 50 gbutter
  • 50 gsalt
  • Some rapeseed oil for frying
  • For the sauce
  • 300 gorange juice, preferably fresh pressed (circa 5 oranges)
  • 100 gwhite wine
  • 200 gvegetable broth
  • 25 gsugar (2 table spoons)
  • 15 gcorn starch (1.5 tables spoons)
  • A bit of butter


  1. If you have the time: put the breasts in brine overnight, or a couple of hours before starting to cook, if that’s what you have. Dissolve 50-60 g of salt (ca 1/2 dl) in 1000 g (1L). Let the solution cool and then put the meat in the brine (the salty water). Brineing makes the meat more juicy and gives it a nice saltiness.
  2. Make broth. Cut some carrots, onion and fennel and put in boiling water. Add salt, pepper and bay leaves and let boil for at least two hours.
  3. Cut slices across the skin of the breasts with a sharp knife. This will make the skin more crispy when you fry it. Some might say you should “clean” the meat from tendons and stuff (on the “inside” of the breast/ the non-skin-side), but I really don’t mind them so I usually don’t.
  4. Put the butter in a pan on high heat with a sip of rapeseed oil. When the butter starts to brown, fry the breasts skin side down for about two minutes, while continuously scooping the butter from the pan and pouring it over the meat. Take the meat from the pan but do not throw away the butter, you’ll use it later.

  5. Seal the meat in a vacuum bag and put it in the sous vide machine (I can really recommend this one, it’s great and doesn’t take up a lot of space). If you did not brine the meat, salt both sides before putting into the vacuum bag.
    Cook for at least two hours, three if you have the time, at 54 degrees C (medium rare). Oh, and by the way: you can put whatever in the bag with the meat. If you want more even orange-taste in the dish, put in some orange peel. Like rosemary and thyme? Throw some in there.
  6. Now for the sauce: Grate 1/2 of one orange and squeeze the juice from all of them (circa five oranges should give you 3 dl).
  7. Put the starch in a bowl and pour in the broth (2 dl) while whisking. Add the wine, the orange juice, the peel and the sugar while whisking. Put the mixture in a pan, bring it to a boil and them let it simmer for 20 minutes. This should make for a quite “thin”/ runny sauce. If you like it thicker, add a bit more starch in the beginning.
  8. Add about a table spoon of butter to the sauce and you’re done.
  9. When the meat is done bathing take it out of its bag and put the frying pan (with the melted butter from before) back on the stove on high heat. When the pan is hot, put the breast in, skin side down and repeat step 4: Two minutes on high heat while scooping the melted butter over the meat. Then remove the breasts from the pan and let them rest for five minutes.
  10. Make thin-ish slices. Serve with the sauce and a nice side dish. Bon appetite!


(never buy it again)

This recipe has a singular purpose: that not one person who reads it shall ever buy mayonnaise again.

A loft goal you might say, and maybe a bit aggressive? So what’s my beef with store-bought mayo? Let’s talk.

Mayo is not a thing I grew up with. I’m not really sure where my parents dislike of mayo came or comes from (some general aversion to its unhealthiness I’d guess) but we never had mayo at home. I remember eating smörgåstårta one time (which is like 50% mayo) and absolutely hating it. I immediately blamed mayo’s involvement. Of course I had mayo as part of some burger dressing and what not, but essentially: the first 15-20 years of my life was almost completely devoid of mayo.

I really didn’t know what mayo was or why it was considered (in our house) kinda gross. I certainly didn’t think about it as something you make.

The turning point was when I tried (and failed) to recreate some of my favorite sauces; Amigos kebab sauce, remoulade, some hamburger dressing, without considering that they might contain mayo. Turns out it’s a kinda important part of a lot of sauces. So I read up on how to make it. The general vibe seemed to be that it’s pretty hard and that you have to be very careful. So I was careful. Until I’d made it 50 times and realized that it’s super mega easy and that you don’t have to be really careful at all. This became the starting point of my war on store-bought mayo. So it’s not even about that the kind you buy in the store is bad. I mean, it probably isn’t very good but I really don’t know because why would I? It literally takes minutes to make yourself  and it’s wonderful.

Special Equipment

  • An immersion blender or electric mixer (or both)
Created with Sketch. 5 minutes Created with Sketch. 2-3 portions


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 100 grapeseed oil
  • A dollop of mustard
  • Some vinegar
  • Some lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


So I’d like to make some general points right off the bat: You can use a good ol’ manual whisk, an immersion blender, an electric mixer or a combination. The thing is, the choice of tool does not only affect the process of making the mayo, but also the resulting consistency. If you only use a whisk or an electric mixer, the consistency becomes gooey and a bit wobbly. Putting an immersion blender to this makes the mayo much more dense and more pasty. The immersion blender mayo is very well suited for burger dressing and stuff like that, as you probably want it to stay in its place. My suggestion is to first use a whisk or mixer and then the blender as it can be hard to reach the bottom of the bowl with a blender.

Another thing: you can use the whole egg instead of only the yolk. This makes for a fluffier and whiter mayo less influenced by the taste of the egg yolk (obviously).

And a final note: I like mayo made with quite sweet mustard, but try different ones. Many recipes use dijon but I have a hard time with dijon in general. As for the vinegar, lemon, salt and pepper it’s completely personal so I’ve elected to not put any exact amounts in the recipe. Experiment! I like the acidity of vinegar but others (my brother for example) prefer lemon juice.

  1. Put a bowl on a damp dishcloth. This helps to keep it in place when whisking.
  2. Whisk together the yolk, mustard, vinegar/ lemon juice and a little bit of salt and pepper.
  3. Trickle the oil into the bowl while whisking/ mixing/ blending. As said: you really don’t have to be overly careful, but begin with a steady but thin stream. As the mayo sets you can increase the speed.
  4. Boom, you got mayo! Add salt, pepper and vinegar/lemon juice to taste.

Just to bring this “never buy mayonnaise again”- point home once and for all, I made a video!

Mayo in less than 1 minute:

Oh, one last thing on the recipe side of things: Instead of a hundred grams of oil, you can have two hundred grams of oil to one egg yolk. Or three hundred. Or fifty.

More oil means thicker consistency and less taste from the yolk (since it’s diluted the more oil you have). But one yolk can bind a heck of a lot of oil, so it’s basically just preference how much to use. This, I assume, is also why stor bought mayo is almost completely white: very high oil to yolk ratio (egg is expensive).

The best thing of all? When you’ve come this far, it’s so easy to make all these great things!

You like Aioli (come on, who doesn’t)? Mix in som garlic and there you go! Chili mayo? Add some fresh chili, a generous dollop of Sriracha and you’ll be amazed. Truffle mayo? You get the idea.

Welcome to the world of never buying mayo again, it’s a pretty great place!