Duck Breast with Cherry Sauce

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Duck Breast with Cherry Sauce is a luxurious and elegant dish that combines tender, pan-seared duck breast with a rich and tangy cherry sauce. The succulent duck breast is seared to crispy perfection, then topped with a flavorful sauce made from sweet cherries, red wine, and aromatic spices. This recipe is perfect for special occasions or when you want to impress with a gourmet meal at home. Here’s how to prepare this delicious dish.


For the Duck Breast:

  • 2 duck breasts, skin-on
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

For the Cherry Sauce:

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup red wine (such as Merlot or Pinot Noir)
  • 1/2 cup chicken or duck broth
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For Garnish:

  • Fresh thyme leaves or parsley, chopped

For Serving:

  • Mashed potatoes or polenta
  • Steamed green beans or asparagus


1. Prepare the Duck Breast:

  1. Score the skin of the duck breasts in a crosshatch pattern, being careful not to cut into the meat. This helps render the fat and crisps up the skin.
  2. Season both sides of the duck breasts generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

2. Sear the Duck Breast:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the duck breasts in the skillet, skin-side down, without adding any oil.
  2. Cook for about 6-8 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and crispy. Remove excess duck fat from the skillet as it renders (save it for another use if desired).
  3. Flip the duck breasts and add smashed garlic cloves and fresh thyme sprigs to the skillet. Cook for another 4-5 minutes for medium-rare or until desired doneness. Adjust cooking time based on the thickness of the duck breasts.
  4. Transfer the duck breasts to a cutting board and let them rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

3. Make the Cherry Sauce:

  1. In the same skillet (discard excess duck fat if too much), add the halved cherries, red wine, chicken or duck broth, balsamic vinegar, and honey or maple syrup.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered for about 10-12 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reduced by half.
  3. Stir in unsalted butter until melted and well combined. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

4. Serve:

  1. Slice the rested duck breasts diagonally into thick slices.
  2. Arrange the sliced duck breast on serving plates or a platter.
  3. Spoon the cherry sauce over the duck breast slices.
  4. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves or chopped parsley.
  5. Serve hot, accompanied by mashed potatoes or polenta and steamed green beans or asparagus.

5. Optional Serving Suggestions:

  • Pair with a glass of red wine that complements the cherry sauce, such as Merlot or Pinot Noir.
  • Enjoy with a side of roasted vegetables or a crisp salad for a complete meal.

Conclusion: Duck Breast with Cherry Sauce is a decadent and flavorful dish that highlights the richness of duck paired with the sweet and tangy flavors of cherry sauce. This recipe allows you to create a gourmet restaurant-quality dish at home, perfect for special occasions or when you want to treat yourself to a luxurious meal. Impress your guests or loved ones with this elegant duck breast recipe and enjoy the delightful combination of savory duck and luscious cherry sauce.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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