Pekin ducks, also known as crescent or Long Island ducklings, have small breasts. If using magret, which are larger, cook a minute or two longer per side. This recipe is from N7, one of the Hot 10, America's Best New Restaurants 2016.
- 4 small duck breasts (6–8 ounces each)
- 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Orange slices (for serving)
Score fat of each duck breast in a crosshatch pattern, spacing about ½" apart. Combine orange zest, orange juice, honey, soy sauce, and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Add duck, seal bag, and turn to coat. Chill at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours.
Remove duck breasts from marinade; set marinade aside. Place duck, skin side down, in a cold large skillet, then set over low heat and cook, shifting breasts in skillet occasionally for even cooking, until fat is rendered and skin is deep golden brown, 12–15 minutes. Turn duck, cover skillet, and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 120° for medium-rare, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, pour off fat from skillet, then add reserved marinade and bring to a simmer; cook until sauce is thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes.
Transfer duck to plates and spoon sauce over. Serve with orange slices.