Duck Breasts with Balsamic Spiced Cherries

, from Issue #83. March, 2019
Photography by Kate Battersby.
Duck Breasts with Balsamic Spiced Cherries

The sweet-tart cherries, fruity balsamic and aromatic spices make a perfect pan sauce for these tasty duck breasts.

Serves: 2


2 single duck breasts
sea salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme plus extra sprigs for garnish
½ cup red wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon each ground mixed spice and curry powder
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup drained pitted cherries*
2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Season the duck on both sides with salt.

Smear the oil over the base of a sauté pan and place the duck, skin side down, in the cold pan.

Place over a low heat and cook for 10 minutes until a lot of the fat has rendered out and the skin is golden. Turn over and cook for another 3-5 minutes for lightly pink duck. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the meat.

Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Spoon off excess fat, leaving 2 tablespoons in the pan. Drop the thyme sprigs in the oil for a few seconds to crisp up then drain on kitchen towel. Set aside for garnishing.

Add all the ingredients except the cherries and parsley and cook at a fast simmer until reduced and syrupy. Add the cherries and heat through then add the parsley and the resting juices from the duck.

To serve: Slice the duck and either plate the meat and spoon over the sauce or add back to the pan and serve family-style. Top with the crisp thyme sprigs.

Cook's note: Jars and tins of cherries are available at supermarkets and food stores.