Duck Breast with Black Cherry Sauce

Duck Breast with Black Cherry Sauce

This is the 3rd duck recipe that I share with you. I’ve made another duck breast with asparagus and forest mushroom and a duck confit with red cabbage. Duck breast is very popular with fruit sauces, in Chinese restaurants you can get it served with plum, orange or lemon sauce. I have made with frozen four-berry sauce at wintertime and at the end of the cherry season, I made this delicious sauce from black cherry.

One of my most precious memories growing up is off me sitting on the top branch of our cherry tree in the garden picking and eating cherries. To this day the cherries I ate from the top of the tree are the most delicious I have ever had and cherries remain my favorite fruit.

Black cherry is nice dark red, almost black. It contains high amounts of anthocyanins and these antioxidants give red or purplish color to fruits and veggies, like beetroot, purple cabbage, blueberries and cherries have the highest quantity of them. It has important health benefits and one of them, according to a Forbes’ article, associates cherry intake during a two days period with a 35% lower chance for a gout flare up. And consuming cherry extract was actually associated with a 45% lower risk.

My family likes pan-fried duck breast with crisp, golden skin and pink flesh. It is easy to make but you have to pay attention to the temperature, time and texture. It is very important to take the breasts out from the fridge at least 1 hour before frying to bring the meat to room temperature, otherwise it won’t cook evenly, it will be crispy on the outside, but raw in the middle but we want it to be evenly medium on the inside. Follow the instructions but practice makes perfect in my experience.

Check our side dishes from sweet potato, fried or mashed, either of them are a good option with the duck breast with black cherry sauce. But you have to make the side before frying off the breasts, because you will not have enough time after it, and the meat will get cold.

Duck Breast with Black Cherry Sauce

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Chill Time4 mins
Total Time49 mins
Servings: 2
Author: Andrea


  • Blender or Immersion blender


  • 2 duck breasts 220-240 gram each with skin on, boneless
  • 350 gram fresh cherries
  • 100 ml ruby port
  • 2 pinches cinnamon
  • 1 pinch clove ground
  • salt and pepper


  • Heat oven up to 170°C.
  • Check our side dishes from sweet potato, fried or mashed, both of them are good choice to the duck breast with black cherry sauce, but you have to make the mashed or cooked before frying off the breasts, otherwise you will not have enough time after it, and the breasts will get cold. If you choose fried sweet potato, you will have time to make it while the breasts are in the oven and resting after it.
  • Make the black cherry sauce. Choose 6-8 pieces nice black cherries with stalks to set aside and pit the rest.
  • Pour the port into saucepan and boil it for 4-5 minutes, until reduced by almost half.
  • Add all cherries to the port with ground cinnamon, cloves, salt together and when it starts to boil again, simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Remove the cherries with stalks and set apart.
  • Blend the rest pitted cherries with the wine sauce together with immersion blender for 1-2 minutes until are creamy.
  • Strain the sauce through on cheesecloth, muslin or a very fine colander and pour it back to the saucepan. Add whole cherries into the sauce also and set aside.
  • Score the skin of the duck breasts (but not the meat) in a cross-hatch pattern. Season them with a bit of salt and pepper.
  • Heat up a frying pan on medium high heat. When it is hot, lay the breasts skin side down and reduce the heat to medium. I do not use extra fat, the skin is fatty enough. Where the skin does not contact with the pan, I push it down with a tongue. I cook it for 4 minutes, until the skin is golden brown.
  • Turn the breasts and cook the other side for 3 minutes.
  • Place the breasts into ovenproof dish skin side down and put them into the preheated oven for 4 minutes.
  • Leave them to rest for 3-4 minutes.
  • Warm up the black cherry sauce with the whole cherries.
  • Put your chosen side dish to the serving plate, place the breast on top and spoon the sauce around it, decorate with the whole cherries and enjoy.