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Crispy Air Fryer Duck Breast with Plum Sauce Recipe

If you’ve ever wanted to make a delicious duck dish at home but don’t have the time or energy to roast one, then an air fryer is your best bet. Air fryers provide a quick and easy way to cook duck that tastes just as amazing as a roasted duck. In this blog post, we will show you how to make air fryer duck in just 10 minutes.
Duck breast sliced on a plate with cucumber slices and lemon slices.

Crispy Air Fryer Duck Breast with Plum Sauce Recipe

If you’ve ever wanted to make a delicious duck dish at home but don’t have the time or energy to roast one, then try making this delicious air fryer duck recipe. Air fryers provide a quick and easy way to cook duck that tastes just as amazing as a roasted duck with minimal effort. This is a wonderful dish for any night of the week or would be perfect for your next dinner party!

Air Fryer Duck Breast Pin.

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What do I need to make Air Fryer Duck Breast?

Duck is often served on special occassions or during the holiday season. However, this air fryer duck recipe is so quick and easy to make that it can be made any time you are in the mood for juicy duck meat with crispy skin. Here is what you will need to make it.

Duck breast sliced on a plate with cucumber slices and lemon slices.

Looking for more delicious Air Fryer Recipes? Give these reader favorites a try!

Air Fryer Lamb Recipe | Air Fryer Honey Soy Chicken Drumsticks | Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower | Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan | Air Fryer Roast Beef 

How do I make Duck in the Air Fryer

While duck breast is often thought of as a special occasion meal, it is so easy to make in the air fryer.  All you need to do is follow a few simple steps to make it with minimal effort.

Step 1: Prepare the sauce

Start off by preheating the air fryer to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, prepare the sauce by combining the toasted sesame seed oil, oyster sauce, plum sauce, honey and hoisin sauce in a small bowl. Set the sauce aside.

Step 2: Prepare the duck

Prepare the duck by cutting diagonal lines into the duck skin with a sharp knife. This step will help render the fat from the duck and make the skin crispy. Salt both sides of the duck breasts.

Step 3: Air fry the duck breasts

Place the duck breasts skin side down in the air fryer basket and cook on air fry mode for 5 minutes. Next, flip the duck breasts over and turn the temperature of the air fryer down to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Note: Duck breasts have a high fat content, so it may cause your air fryer to smoke. If this does occur, stop the air fryer, remove the basket and carefully drain out the oil. Return basket and resume cooking the duck.

Step 4: Baste with sauce

Remove the duck breasts from the air fryer and baste on both sides with the sauce. Place back in the air fryer and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. At this point, check the internal temperature with an instant-read meat thermometer. You may need additional cook time depending on your preference for the desired degree of doneness.

Note: The USDA recommends cooking duck breasts to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, which will be well done. However, some people prefer medium-rare 130 degrees Fahrenheit, medium 140 degrees Fahrenheit or medium-well 155 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5: Let the duck rest, then serve and enjoy

Remove the duck from the air fryer basket and place on a cutting board. Brush any remaining sauce on the duck and allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing it. This will give the juices time to redistribute in the meat. Then, slice into thin pieces, serve and enjoy.

Sliced duck breast on a cutting board.

What are the best side dishes to serve with duck breast?

There are a number of great options for sides that will pair well with duck. Here are a few of my favorites:

Roasted vegetables: Roasted vegetables are a great option to serve alongside duck breast for a special occasion dinner. Try roasting some carrots, parsnips, and Brussels sprouts in the oven with a bit of olive oil and sea salt. Or use a tablespoon of duck fat on the vegetables and they will absorb the duck fat and become nice and crispy.

Lo Mein Noodles: Serve the air fried duck breast on top of lo mein noodles for a flavorful combination like you might have at a Chinese restaurant. Instead of topping the duck with plum sauce, drizzle soy sauce or spicy orange sauce on top of it.

Mashed potatoes: Mashed potatoes are another classic side dish that goes well with duck breast. For an extra special twist, try making mashed potatoes with roasted garlic or adding some sautéed spinach to the mix. Alternatively, you could also try sweet potato mash on the side.

Fried Rice: This is a delicious option to serve alongside the crispy duck. I love making fried rice in the Instant Pot because it is so quick and easy to prepare. 

Quinoa salad: Quinoa salad is a light and refreshing side dish that pairs well with duck breast. To make it, cook quinoa in chicken or vegetable broth until tender. Then, stir in diced cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese, and a simple vinaigrette dressing.

Farro risotto: Farro risotto is a creamy and flavorful side dish that is sure to please. To make it, cook farro in chicken or vegetable broth until tender. Then, stir in Parmesan cheese, butter, and freshly chopped parsley.

Roasted sweet potatoes: Roasted sweet potatoes are another great option to serve alongside duck breast. Simply toss sweet potatoes in olive oil and sea salt before roasting in the oven until tender. !

Air Fried Duck with cucumber slices on a white plate.

What sauces pair well with duck?

Plum sauce: Plum sauce is a sweet and savory sauce that goes well with the richness of duck. The sweetness helps to offset the richness of the duck, and the plum pairs well with the gamey flavor. This is the sauce I chose to use in this recipe. However, it is fun to change it up and try different ones for a twist on the flavor of the meal.

Orange sauce: Orange sauce is a classic pairing for duck. The sweetness of the sauce helps to balance out the richness of the duck. To make an orange sauce, simply combine orange juice, chicken stock, and a touch of sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then let it cook until it has reduced by half.

Cherry sauce: Cherry sauce is another popular option for duck. The tartness of the cherries helps to cut through the richness of the duck. To make a cherry sauce, start by cooking down some fresh or frozen cherries in a small saucepan. Once the cherries have cooked down, add in chicken stock and a touch of sugar. Let the mixture simmer until it has reduced by half.

Red wine sauce: Red wine sauce is a great option if you want to add a bit of sophistication to your duck dish. The rich flavor of the red wine pairs well with the richness of the duck. To make a red wine sauce, start by cooking down some red wine in a small saucepan. Once the wine has reduced, add in chicken stock and a touch of sugar. Let the mixture simmer until it has reduced by half.

Soy-ginger sauce: Soy-ginger sauce is a great option if you want to add some Asian flair to your duck dish. The salty soy pairs well with the rich duck, while the ginger adds a touch of heat. To make a soy-ginger sauce, simply combine soy sauce, chicken stock, and freshly grated ginger in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then let it cook until it has reduced by half

Duck Breast FAQ

What does duck breast taste like?

The duck meat is very juicy and it has crispy skin. It does have a mild gamey flavor.  The addition of the sauce is the perfect sweet and savory combo that takes this dish to the next level. It is the perfect holiday meal, but simple enough to make any time.

Is there a special ingredient or method here?
The toasted sesame seed oil, oyster sauce, plum sauce, honey and hoisin all work together to create a delicious and unique flavor that you will not be able to get enough of! Trust me this is the best air fryer duck recipe you will find!

What other tips do you have for making this recipe?
For a crispy duck, make sure to score the duck breast side skin with a sharp pairing knife in a crosshatch pattern before cooking it. This will help render the fat and make the skin crispy and delicious, while the duck  meat will stay moist and tender.

What should I do with the leftover duck fat?

Duck is notoriously very fatty, so. it will produce a lot grease as it cooks. You can save the duck fat and use it to make duck fat French fries or potatoes!

Can this recipe be made ahead of time?
The duck can be cooked ahead of time and reheated when ready to eat. The sauce can also be made ahead of time and reheated.

Are there any variations of this recipe?
If you are not a fan of duck, you can also use chicken breasts in this recipe.

How do I store leftovers?
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

 

Air Fried Duck with cucumber slices on a white plate.

Duck breast sliced on a plate with cucumber slices and lemon slices.

Air Fryer Duck

If you’ve ever wanted to make a delicious duck dish at home but don’t have the time or energy to roast one, then an air fryer is your best bet. Air fryers provide a quick and easy way to cook duck that tastes just as amazing as a roasted duck. In this blog post, we will show you how to make air fryer duck in just 10 minutes.
5 from 17 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Air Fryer
Keyword: Air Fryer Duck
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 407kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Prepare the sauce by mixing together the sesame seed oil, oyster sauce, plum sauce and hoison sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Place the duck on a cutting board and score the skin with a kitchen knife drawing diagonal lines. This will help render the fat and make the skin crispy.
  • Salt the duck on both sides.
  • Place the duck breasts in the air fryer basket, skin side down, and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Flip the duck breasts over. Turn the air fryer temperature down to 360 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Remove the duck from the air fryer, coat in the plum sauce and place in the air fryer for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Check the internal temperature of the duck with an instant read meat thermometer. The USDA recommends cooking duck breasts to an internal temperature of 165°F, which will be well done.
  • Remove from the air fryer and let it rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing into it.

Nutrition

Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 174mg | Sodium: 2656mg | Potassium: 646mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 124IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 10mg
Recipe Rating




Ellen

Saturday 25th of May 2024

This recipe is better than anything you can get in a restaurant! Save money and make this duck dish for your next special occasion.

mindy

Saturday 25th of May 2024

We thoroughly enjoyed this for our anniversary dinner along with some roasted potatoes and red wine.

Marisa

Friday 24th of May 2024

All I can say about this recipe is that it is restaurant-quality. And I mean from one of the best restaurants. The duck was so tasty and the sauce was to die for. Thank you for sharing.