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Photos by Jess Damuck, illustrations by Lauren O’Connell

How to Make Seared Duck Breast with Sweet and Spicy Carrots and Citrus

Sugar, spice, and everything nice — especially when paired with a single malt Scotch.

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It’s been said that refining by fire is purifying — but we think it’s just pure deliciousness. In this case, “fire” elevates a seared duck recipe with a little something to pack the heat — harissa paste — and roasted carrots and oranges finish the dish with a surprising tang.

Another example of refinement? Highland Park Cask Strength Release No. 1, a single malt Scotch whisky in its purest form. Matured in sherry-seasoned American oak casks, the whisky comes straight from the barrel, resulting in a whisky with maximum flavor — as pure as it gets.

The refined single malt is a balance between sweet and smoky, with the aromatic peat characteristic of Highland Park, but also notes of violets and ripe vanilla pods. Soft toffee, heather honey, freshly grated nutmeg, and sun-ripened citrus notes shine through, too, for a rich and full-bodied experience. It finishes like a taste of perfectly spicy crème brûlée, and who says you can’t enjoy a taste of dessert with your duck dinner?

Read on for the perfect warming, seared duck recipe, then pick up a bottle of the Highland Park Cask Strength Release No. 1 to go with it. A fiery match if we ever saw one.

Seared Duck Breast with Sweet and Spicy Carrots and Citrus


Preheat oven to 400F. Arrange carrots and orange slices on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and coriander and cumin. Roast until crisp-tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, toss with vinegar, and tent with foil to keep warm.

Coat duck breasts with harissa paste, and rub well to cover evenly. Season with salt. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, and place the duck breasts skin-side down. Cook until deep golden brown and crispy, about 10 minutes. Most of the fat should be melting off; remove some with a spoon occasionally so there isn’t too much in the pan. Flip the duck breasts over, and transfer to the oven, skin-side up. Cook until medium-rare (about 135°F), about 8 minutes.

Serve, sliced, over carrots, oranges, and torn frisée. Pair with a dram of Highland Park Cask Strength Release No. 1.

Recipe by Jess Damuck

© 2020 Highland Distillers Limited. Highland Park® Scotch Whisky, 63.3% Alc./Vol. Imported by Edrington Americas, New York, NY. “H” Device ®. Please Drink Responsibly.

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