Maggie Beer

Duck Breast with Sour Cherries

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Step 1: Score duck breasts with diagonal lines cutting through the fat, but not right into the flesh, and rub with salt and chopped rosemary.

Step 2: On a grill plate or a medium hot pan gently seal the duck breasts fat side down for about 10 minutes – every now and again tipping the rendered fat into a container for later use. Once the fat side has crisped up, turn the breast over and seal on the other side. Cook the breasts for a total of about 20 minutes, turning every few minutes to seal all sides. Remove from the pan and leave to rest in a warm place for at least 10 – 15 minutes.

To make the sauce:

Step 3: Take two tablespoons of the butter to nut brown with a dash of oil to inhibit burning. Add well-drained cherries and remaining rosemary sprig. Season well with freshly ground black pepper, as it will heighten the flavour. Deglaze the pan with Vino Cotto or balsamic vinegar. Add stock and increase the temperature until the sauce has reduced down to a syrupy glaze. Add the remaining two tablespoons of very cold butter at the last moment for a velvety finish to the sauce.

Maggie's Tip: The sauce, of course, can be made in advance and brought back to the simmer and butter added at the last moment to glisten. For easy catering for a party,this recipe that can be halved or doubled dependent on numbers.


  1. 1.2kg 6 duck breasts no wings
  2. 4 tbspn unsalted butter Very cold, cut into small cubes
  3. 20ml Approx 1 tbspn Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  4. 2 cup canned sour cherries drained
  5. 2 sprig rosemary one roughly chopped, reserve the second sprig whole
  6. To taste sea salt flakes
  7. 40ml 2 tbspn Vino Cotto
  8. 125ml 1/2 cup Chicken Stock

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