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Duck breast with Morello cherry and blackberry sauce recipe

Duck breast with Morello cherry and blackberry sauce recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Duck
  • Duck breast

I find that duck goes well with salty-sweet combinations, so I often put fruit with duck. Serve with a potato gratin.

13 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 4 small duck breast fillets with skin (or 2 large)
  • 2 tins unsweetened morello cherries in juice, or 500g frozen cherries
  • 250g fresh blackberries

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:30min

  1. Cook the duck breast fillets, skin side down, in a frying pan over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the frying pan, and set aside.
  2. Keep the duck fat in the frying pan, and stir in the cherries and their juice. Heat over low heat, and reduce the sauce until it becomes syrupy, about 15 minutes.
  3. Return the duck breasts to the pan with the cherries, add the blackberries, and cook for 3 minutes. Stir the sauce and serve.

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Duck Breast in Cherry Port Wine Sauce

I recently posted a recipe for pork chops that I had bought online at D’, and when I placed my order, they had duck breasts on sale. Although I do enjoy a well-cooked duck breast when we are dining out at a restaurant, it has been many years since I cooked duck at home, so I decided to order some. Duck breast, sometimes called duck steak, is the meatiest part of the duck, and searing fresh duck breast makes for quick and easy dinner. The most important step when cooking duck breast is to score the skin, then sear it well to render the fat. Duck fat is considered a high quality ingredient, so do not throw the fat out. Instead of discarding the fat, after searing the breast and rendering the fat, allow the fat to cool, and then pour through a sieve. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6months or up to a year in the freezer. Duck fat adds lots of flavor to vegetables, especially potatoes when frying them.

I went online and read many different recipes for duck and how vest to cook duck breasts, and ended up with this recipe which turned out better than I hoped for. The duck was tender and moist, and the cherry and port wine sauce was a perfect accompaniment. I served my duck breasts with mashed sweet potatoes and sautéed greens, and we enjoyed the meal so much, I know I will be cooking duck often in the future. We prepared our duck medium rare, and for me, it was the best way to serve it. You do not want well-done duck breast as it will become dry and chewy.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2019

Classic Duck a l'Orange

Duck a l'orange is possibly one of the most copied French recipes of all time. The dish first rose to fame in the 1960s when French cuisine became hugely popular in America thanks in part to this recipe, which features seared duck breast glazed with a sweet orange sauce. Orange matches well with duck, as the citrus cuts through any fattiness, yet it remains sweet, unlike lemon. This sophisticated dish is an excellent addition to party menus and romantic dinners. The easy sauce can be prepared ahead of time, and you can sear the duck right before serving.

Always use the plumpest duck breasts you can find. These are often referred to as duck magret in French and have a good layer of fat that is so important in keeping the meat moist and adding tons of flavor. Don't be deterred by the fat—much of it is rendered in cooking and can be used in a host of other recipes, including classic pommes sauté (sauteed potatoes). Serve duck a l'orange with simple side dishes like rice pilaf and steamed green beans.



  • Strain the liquid if using canned cherries. Reserve about 4-5 tablespoons juice or water to mix with the cornstarch. Pour about 180 ml/ ¾ cup of the cherry liquid into a saucepan. If there are more than ¾ cup juice in the can, you can use it all, just think of adjusting the cornstarch quantity needed to thicken the juice accordingly. If using fresh or frozen cherries, pour about 180 ml/ ¾ cup water into the pot.


  • Add sugar. About 1-2 tablespoons for canned cherries, which already contain some sugar. 2 or 3 tablespoons for fresh or frozen sweet cherries and maybe 1 tablespoon more for sour cherries. It all depends on your taste. If you like make the cherry sauce using less sugar or make it sweeter.


  • Whisk together the reserved juice or water with the cornstarch. You should have a smooth, thick yet still pourable paste.Bring the juice or water to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch mixture.


  • Add the cherries to the sauce and stir well. Return the pot to the heat, turn the heat down and simmer the fresh or frozen cherries for 2 or 3 minutes or until slightly softer. If using canned cherries, it is enough to let them bubble once or twice until the sauce is slightly thickened.


  • Add flavors. You can leave the cherry sauce plain and it will still be delicious. However, to make it even better add some fresh lemon or lime juice. Alternatively, you could flavor it with ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or almond extract or, in winter, with a pinch of cinnamon.

Duck à l'Orange Recipe

Why It Works

  • Roasting the duck trimmings with aromatic vegetables and infusing that into the stock makes an even more flavorful and rich sauce.
  • Blanching the duck and piercing its skin helps render the fat during roasting.
  • An optional dry-brining stage seasons the meat, helps retain juices, and improves skin browning.
  • Roasting the duck starting at high heat and then switching to lower heat yields browned and crispy skin and tender juicy meat (yep, even though it's well done).
  • Different blanching times depending on the citrus used accounts for differences in navel versus bitter orange zest.

Duck à l'orange is a classic French recipe featuring a whole roasted duck with crispy, crackling skin along with an aromatic sweet-sour sauce known as sauce bigarade. The original sauce bigarade is made with bitter oranges (sometimes called bigarade oranges, sour oranges, or Seville oranges), and it's finely balanced, with just enough sweetness to offset the intensity of those oranges. Many recipes that call for substituting navel oranges and lemons get the balance wrong, falling too far to the cloyingly sweet side, but this recipe is designed to mirror the original sauce more faithfully (it also works with bitter oranges, if you can find them). The result is complex, fragrant, and lip-smackingly delicious, with a fine-tuned sauce that cuts right through the rich fattiness of the duck.

One whole duck has enough meat for two hungry diners or four less famished ones. If you are serving more people, consider doubling the recipe (you will need to double everything except the gastrique, of which this recipe produces more than enough).

With KIN ‘Dark Horse’ Frontenac…

Seared Duck Breast with Cherries & Port Sauce

Recipe & Photo Credits
Serves 2


2 5-6 oz. duck breast halves, or one 12-16 oz. duck breast half
2 Tbsp chilled butter, divided
¼ cup finely chopped shallot
½ cup low-salt chicken broth
8 halved pitted sweet red cherries, fresh or frozen
2 Tbsp Tawny Port
1 Tbsp orange blossom honey


Place duck breast halves between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Pound lightly to even thickness (

½-3/4”). Discard plastic wrap. Using a sharp knife, score skin in ¾” diamond pattern (do not cut into flesh.

Melt 1 Tbsp butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle duck with salt & pepper. Add duck, skin side down, to skillet & cook until skin is browned & crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn duck breasts over, reduce heat to medium & cook until browned to desired doneness, about 4 minutes longer for small breasts & 8 minutes longer for large breast for medium-rare. Transfer to work surface, tent with foil to keep warm & let rest 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour all but 2 Tbsp drippings from skillet. Add shallot to skillet & stir over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add broth, cherries, Port and honey. Increase heat to high & boil until sauce is reduced to glaze, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Whisk in 1 Tbsp cold butter. Season sauce to taste with salt & pepper. (With this tasty sauce, you may wish to double the recipe!)

Thinly slice duck. Fan slices out on plates. Spoon over sauce & serve with roast autumn vegetables.

Cherry-Port Sauce Recipe

As the reality of a harsh and cold winter starts to settle in, a glass of sweet and warming port can bring at least some sense of ease to the occasion. With the chill hitting earlier than normal here in New York this year, I turned to port to serve as what I consider my first real winter sauce.

I decided to go with the classic combo of a cherry and port that contrasts tart cherries against sweet port, with a double dose of fruit that gives a well-rounded and full-bodied flavor.

I also added a small amount of balsamic vinegar when making this reduction, as well as some shallots, both which lent their own sharpness, giving an added intensity to the final sauce.

This paired excellently with grilled peppered duck breast, where the lightly flavored meat really let the sauce stand out, but it's also hefty enough to mingle well with heavier contenders like beef or game too, and can even go as far as topping ice cream and other desserts—although you may find omitting the shallots and upping the sugar a better interpretation for use on sweets.

Easy Cherry Sauce

Cherries are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds and packed with vitamin C and fiber.   When in season, plump and sweet cherries are wonderful treats eaten raw, but they also make wonderful jellies, sauces, syrups, pie fillings, and great additions to frozen desserts.

While most cooks gravitate towards more common sauces like strawberry, making a cherry sauce is simple and will give you a versatile ingredient to add to many sweet treats. Use the type of cherries that you like the best Bing cherries are one of the most common, but a sour cherry makes an interesting sauce as well, as the sour taste plays nicely against the sweetness of the sugar.

Our recipe can be made with fresh or frozen cherries, the latter being super simple to work with as they come pitted. Just keep in mind that frozen fruit yields a lot more water than fresh, so you'd have to cut the water amount in half and check the texture, adding extra water to suit your preferred thickness. For fresh cherries follow the recipe as is, and give yourself extra time to pit them, always being careful of hard-to-wash cherry juice stains.

Recipes like this are a great way to use up cherries if you have trees that are overproducing or when they are in season and inexpensive at the farmers market. The sauce keeps in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

  • 1 duck breast
  • 75g cubed pancetta
  • Bunch of asparagus
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 onion, cubed
  • 250ml red wine
  • 250ml beef stock
  • Punnet of blackberries
  • 6 quail eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat a saucepan over a medium heat and fry the pancetta, onion and thyme until golden brown
  2. Add the wine and reduce by two thirds
  3. Add the stock and blackberries and reduce by two thirds again
  4. Strain through a sieve, squeezing plenty of juice from the blackberries
  5. Boil to a syrupy jus, and keep warm
  6. Boil the quail's eggs for two and a half minutes, cool under a cold running tap, then peel
  7. For the duck, heat a frying pan, score the skin and season with salt
  8. When the pan is really hot, pop the duck in, skin side down and leave until golden brown
  9. Flip over for 30 seconds and pop into a preheated oven (180c) for 8 minutes, rest for 4 minutes
  10. Fry the asparagus in the duck fat, arrange on a plate with the blackberries and eggs
  11. When the duck is cooked, slice and arrange on top of the asparagus, drizzling with the jus to finish.

This recipe comes from our friends at The Devilled Egg Kitchen Academy in Bristol.

The Devilled Egg offers practical cookery courses and private bespoke lessons taught in a wonderful relaxed setting in Clifton, Bristol. They also provide online recipe videos, where you can follow their professional chefs, step-by-step, and at your own pace. And a fantastic range of tutorials, demonstrations and tastings in both food and wine are also available.

If you decide to get in touch with The Devilled Egg, please do mention us!

As ever, if you give any recipe a go, please do write back and tell us all about it!

Recipe Summary

  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag frozen pitted dark sweet cherries, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup white sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons shortening

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.

Combine 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a large saucepan stir in water until mixture is smooth. Add cherries and butter to sugar mixture and bring to a boil cook and stir until cherry mixture is thickened, about 2 minutes. Pour cherry filling into the prepared baking dish.

Mix flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl cut in shortening using a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir milk into flour mixture until topping is just moistened. Drop topping by spoonfuls over cherry filling sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over topping.

Bake in the preheated oven until topping is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.

Watch the video: Pan-seared duck with cherry port reduction (June 2022).