Duck Breasts with Coffee Marinade (Roasted or Grilled)

This is a tasty recipe that combines both coffee and rum on a marinade not only suitable for duck, but for pork as well.  Planning ahead is required.

Duck w/ Coffee Marinade


  • (4) 6 oz. Duck Breasts, cleaned and fat removed, scored

Liquid Marinade:

  • 12 oz darker roasted coffee
  • 8 oz dark rum
  • 6 oz spiced rum
  • 1 handful Herbs, Parsley, Thyme, what you have on hand

Dry Rub:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon, ground
  • 3/4 teaspoon Nutmeg, freshly ground
  • 2 oz finely ground coffee (see espresso grind photo)
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 2 cups Wild Rice Pilaf, cooked to serve


  • 6 oz darker roasted coffee
  • 3 oz dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg


  1. Brew 12 ounces of coffee; set aside. Mix 6 ounces brewed coffee, 3 ounces dark rum and 3 ounces spiced rum in a re-seal-able plastic bag.
  2. Combine Rub ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. With a sharp knife, score the duck breast skin. Place into marinade. MARINATE for 8-12 hours.
  3. Once duck has marinated; remove from marinade discarding the liquid. Roll breasts in the rub mixture and then place skin side up in the roasting pan and cover with a lid. Roast at 175℉ for one hour. After one (1) hour, remove roasting pan from oven and let the duck rest; covered.
  4. Combine all sauce ingredients into a medium sauce pan, bring to a boil, and then turn the heat to a simmer. Reduce the sauce by half, stirring often.
  5. Remove breasts from roasting pan. Strain drippings from roasting pan through a sieve into your sauce ingredients pan. Reduce the sauce with drippings by half, stirring often.
  6. In a large saute pan, add butter, and once it is melted (and pan is hot, but butter not burning) add the duck breasts, skin side down. Sauté breasts for 1 minute on each side.

(option 1) Flambé and Sauté

Add two (2) ounces of dark rum and flambe (Optional). Remove breasts from saute pan and place on a bed of Wild Rice Pilaf. Drizzle sauce mixture over each breast just before serving with fresh steamed asparagus or a vegetable medley.

(option 2) Grill

Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking/medium heat (350°F-450°F), grill the duck breasts, skin side down first, over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until the skin is browned and the meat is cooked to your desired doneness, 8-10 minutes for medium rare, turning once (if flare-ups occur, move the breasts temporarily over indirect heat).

Be careful not to over-cook the breast.

Remove from the grill and let the duck rest. Or for a clearer doneness grill the duck for 5-7 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 145°F-150°F. for medium doneness. Serve as desired.

J.B. Bulharowski

J.B. Bulharowski

J.B. is a resident of the Tucson, AZ area and is a member of the University of AZ, Cooperative Extension's Master Gardener Program. J.B. writes for the Pima County Master Gardener Newsletter, exercises hard earned culinary skills, plants cactus in the garden, and spends a great deal of time attempting to be a reasonable photographer.
J.B. Bulharowski

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