Duck Breast with Red Wine and Cherry Sauce

, from Issue #36. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Duck Breast with Red Wine and Cherry Sauce

Serves: 4


4 single duck breasts, skin on

1 cup good beef stock
1 cup red wine
1 shallot, finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
1 x 400 gram tin cherries, well drained
1 teaspoon cold butter
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley


Sauce: Put the stock and red wine in a saucepan and boil for 15 minutes until reduced by half.

Duck: Gently score through the skin of each duck breast in a criss-cross pattern and season the flesh side with sea salt and pepper. Heat a sauté pan over a low heat and cook the duck, skin side down for 10 minutes. This gives time for the fat to melt and the skin to brown. Turn over and cook for a further 3-4 minutes for medium rare duck. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely and rest while you finish the sauce.

Sauce: Drain off the duck fat leaving 1 tablespoon in the pan. Reserve the fat as it is perfect for sautéing potatoes. Add the shallot and cook until soft. Add the garlic, orange zest and juice and the redcurrant jelly and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the reduced red wine and stock and cook for 5 minutes then add the cherries and reduce the sauce until syrupy. The sauce will have lots of small bubbles on the surface. Season and whisk in the butter. Stir in any resting juices from the duck.

To serve: Thinly slice the duck on the diagonal and arrange on serving plates. Spoon over the cherry sauce and scatter with parsley. Serve with green beans and potatoes sautéed in duck fat if desired.