Roasted Duck Breasts With Baby Cos and Paleo Hoisin Sauce Recipe

Recipe From Pete Evans
Pete Evans Fat for Fuel

Pete Evans and Dr. Mercola recently joined forces and created a new cookbook, “Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook.” In this book you’ll discover easy and delicious recipes, along with practical tips on how to follow a ketogenic eating plan. CLICK HERE to order your copy now.

Most people associate duck with a fancy meal with a hefty price tag. This isn’t surprising, because duck meat is prized for its rich taste, especially when the layer of fat under the skin is rendered and seared perfectly.

Cooking duck correctly can be daunting for some cooks because this requires precision and technique. However, with the proper skills, you can make a delectable duck dish that’ll be perfect for various occasions. Such is the case for this remarkable roasted duck breasts with baby cos and paleo hoisin sauce recipe.

If you’re searching for other recipes like this that’ll offer sumptuous flavor and all-important health benefits, make sure you check out the “The Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook,” which world-renowned chef Pete Evans and I have worked on. Apart from healthy recipes, this book also offers valuable information regarding the basic tenets of a ketogenic diet.

Roasted Duck Breasts With Baby Cos and Paleo Hoisin Sauce Recipe

Serving Size: 4 servings


    For duck breasts
  • 3 duck breasts (about 1/2 pound each)
  • Sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 2 heads baby cos or romaine lettuce, leaves separated
  • 2 green onions, cut into 3-inch-long strips, plus extra, sliced to serve
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, cut into 3-inch-long strips
  • Black and white sesame seeds, toasted, to serve
    For Paleo hoisin sauce
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes or chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste


  1. To make the paleo hoisin sauce, place all the ingredients in a saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of water and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for five minutes. Allow to cool, then blend until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Score the skin of the duck with a sharp ceramic knife by cutting slices diagonally through the skin and fat, about 1/2 inch apart from each other. Season with salt.
  4. Heat coconut oil or fat in a medium nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Place the duck breasts skin-side down in pan, and fry for : seven to eight minutes or until well browned.
  5. Transfer the duck breasts to a shallow-sided baking tray. Roast for : five to six minutes or until medium-rare. Cook for a couple more minutes if you prefer the duck breast to be well done. Allow to rest for five minutes before slicing.
  6. To serve, arrange the duck slices in lettuce cups, drizzle with some of the hoisin sauce and top with green onion and cucumber strips. Garnish with sesame seeds and extra sliced green onion.

This Duck Breast Recipe Is a Feast for the Eyes and the Body

If you struggle with cooking duck, maybe it’s time to rethink your game plan. According to writer Brady Klopfer, most people forget that duck has a rich and dark meat covered by a thick slab of fat, making it different from chicken. When you cook duck just like chicken, the meat may become unappetizing — dry, chewy and covered with a “half-inch piece of blubber.”1

Fortunately, there are guides nowadays that can help you cook duck correctly and combine it with other vegetables, sauces, herbs and spices that’ll complement the meat’s flavor, just like this recipe.

How Can Duck Breast Be Beneficial for Your Health?

Duck breast is a good source of protein, as well as minerals such as iron, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. You can also find B vitamins such as thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), folate (B9) and cobalamin (B12).2,3  Apart from these nutrients, what makes duck special is its ability to be safely cooked to a lower temperature, unlike other types of poultry, because it doesn’t carry salmonella.

Duck meat is lean too. Most of the time, duck is considered “fatty” or “greasy” because of the layer of fat underneath the skin. However, you can remove or cook most of the fat out before serving. Slice through the skin before cooking to allow the fat to drain as the meat cooks. Meanwhile, if you’re roasting whole duck, you may pierce the skin with a fork before cooking — this is another method to drain out the fat without soaking the meat and skin.4

Whole ducks are available fresh on a limited basis from late spring through late winter. However, 90 percent of duck sold nowadays is frozen. Some duck breasts are also available in specialty food markets, and may be fresh.5 When buying duck, purchase from a source that you trust, such as a supermarket that sells GMO-free and humanely raised duck, a local butcher or a farmers market or shop. BBC Good Food advises that you choose duck meat with clear and soft skin without bruising, blemishing or tears.

Duck must be stored inside the refrigerator as soon as you get home. Take off wrappings and wipe the duck all over (and inside the cavities) with kitchen paper. Place the duck on a tray or plate that's wide and deep enough to contain blood or juice that might seep out. Afterward, cover the duck loosely with foil. Ensure that the duck doesn't touch any food in the refrigerator that's meant to be eaten raw, or meat that's already cooked. Whole birds and pieces of duck may keep for up to two days.

Before cooking and roasting duck, make sure it’s at room temperature first. Take the bird out of the refrigerator before cooking: at least 30 minutes for a cut of duck, or at least an hour for a whole duck. Keep the duck covered and in a cool place.6

Why Coconut Oil Is Crucial in This Recipe

Compared to other vegetable oils and types of fat, coconut oil is and remains to be a top choice in cooking foods because of the health benefits it can provide. To begin with, coconut oil has good amounts of saturated fat in it, particularly medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), such as C6, C8, C10 and C12 fats.

These fats are metabolized differently by the body because they don’t require bile or pancreatic enzymes in order to be digested. Instead, when MCTs reach your intestine, they start to diffuse through the intestinal membrane into your bloodstream and are then transported to the liver, which is responsible for naturally converting MCTs into ketones. The liver releases the ketones back into the bloodstream, where they’re transported throughout the body.

Unfortunately, saturated fats like MCTs have been vilified because of their supposed links to rising numbers of coronary heart disease. However, research has shown that coconut oil and healthy fats like MCTs may contribute to:

  • Increasing good HDL cholesterol levels
  • Helping convert bad LDL cholesterol into good cholesterol
  • Improving heart health and lowering risk for heart disease caused by increased LDL cholesterol levels7

MCTs may also be readily available and used as an energy source, instead of being stored as fat. These fats can even provide your brain with much-needed energy by passing through the blood-brain barrier.

Coconut oil may also be beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and even Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients. Patients with these conditions have neurons that slowly die off because they have become insulin resistant or have lost the ability to efficiently use glucose. Introducing ketones in your diet, such as from coconut oil, may help these neurons to survive and thrive.

Liven Up This Dish With Cos (More Known as Romaine Lettuce)

Did you know that cos is actually another name for Romaine lettuce? The name was derived from the Greek island of the same name where it was believed to have originated.8 Cos is valued for its potential to improve heart health, thanks to these nutrients:

  • Vitamin B9 or folic acid: Assists with converting a damaging chemical called homocysteine into other benign substances
  • Vitamin C and beta-carotene: Helps with preventing cholesterol oxidation
  • Dietary fiber: Combines with bile salts in the colon and eliminates these from the body
  • Potassium: Aids with lowering blood pressure levels and heart disease risk

Romaine lettuce may also:

Provide antioxidant properties: The combination of vitamin A and a carotenoid called beta-carotene may help maintain healthy mucosa, skin and proper vision. On the other hand, vitamin C can help the body defend itself against harmful free radicals.9

Improve bone metabolism: Vitamin K in Romaine lettuce can assist with promotion of osteoblastic activity in the bone cells and increasing bone mass.

Boost eye health: Apart from vitamin A and beta-carotene, another carotenoid called zeaxanthin may be useful for your eyes, since it’s selectively absorbed into the retinal macula latea.

As a result, it can provide antioxidants and filter retina-damaging UV rays.

Protect the body against diseases: Romaine lettuce has potential in protecting the body against age-related macular diseases (ARMD), especially among older adults.

This vegetable can also help lower your risk for osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anemia, cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer’s disease.

Prevent neural tube defects in babies: Folate-rich vegetables like Romaine lettuce are highly recommended for pregnant women because of this benefit.

Play a vital role in DNA synthesis: Folate in Romaine lettuce has a dual purpose. It’s one of numerous co-factors needed in enzyme metabolism for DNA synthesis.

Although lettuce may provide health benefits, this vegetable has fewer nutrients compared to other leafy greens. Avoid relying solely on lettuce as a main nutrient source. Instead, mix it up with other vegetables such as microgreens or sprouts that can improve your nutrition and deliver other flavors to a meal. For this recipe, consider substituting lettuce with another healthy leafy green.

About Pete Evans

Pete Evans

Pete Evans is an internationally renowned chef who has joined forces with Dr. Mercola to create a healthy cookbook that’s loaded with delicious, unique Keto recipes, ideal for people who want to switch to a ketogenic diet. The “Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook” is the perfect tool to help get you started on your ketogenic journey. CLICK HERE to order your copy now.

Pete has had numerous noteworthy contributions to the culinary world. He has not only cooked for the general public, but he’s also cooked a royal banquet for the Prince and Princess of Denmark, a private dinner for Martha Stewart, and even represented his hometown at the gala GʼDay USA dinner for 600 in New York City.

Pete’s career has moved from the kitchen into the lounge room with many TV appearances including Lifestyle channel’s “Home” show, “Postcards from Home,” “FISH,” “My Kitchen Rules” and “A Moveable Feast.”

Sources and References