Roasted Duck Breast With Balsamic Sweet Cherry & Red Wine Sauce
If you've been wanting to try cooking duck breast at home but have never gotten around to it, now is the time to discover this incredible protein!
For those who may not be familiar with duck breast, duck meat has a much stronger flavor than other types of poultry like chicken and turkey.
This rich-tasting, incredibly versatile protein pairs beautifully with sweet, sour, and spicy flavours, making this week's pairing with a balsamic sweet cherry and red wine sauce a perfect match!
Treat your taste buds to this Roasted Duck Breast With Balsamic Cherry & Red Wine Sauce for a summery main dish that celebrates cherry season and, of course, duck!
About Our King Cole Duck Breasts
The breast of the duck is considered to be the most premium cut of duck and when it's cooked medium-to-rare, it creates a melt in your mouth texture.
Our duck breasts come from King Cole Ducks, located in Stouffville, ON. They are a family owned and operated duck farm and processing facility. Their farmland spans hundreds of acres and they process ducks daily, raising about 2.5 million a year (which is quite small for duck processing!).
They are a fully integrated vertical farm – one of the only ones in Canada. This means they have breeders, hatcheries, a development plant and a processing plant.
They make sure to utilize every part of the ducks. They collect eggs, their products use every part of the duck, and the feathers are processed and sold to feather factories to be used in clothing and home goods.
Sustainability may be a new buzzword, but King Cole Ducks has been doing it this way for many years! They are a zero waste operation that follows strict animal welfare and humane handling practices raising their their ducks with no hormones. You can truly taste the difference in the quality of their duck products.
- 2 x King Cole Duck Breasts
- Salt & Pepper for seasoning
- 1L Sweet Cherries
- 2 Tbsp French Tarragon
- ½ Cup Full-Bodied Red Wine
- 2 x Garlic Cloves
- 1 x Lemon
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
How to Cook Duck Breast
Preheat your oven to 400˚F and pat the duck breasts with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
Next, carefully score them with a sharp knife being sure not to cut through the skin into the flesh. Sprinkle both sides generously with salt and pepper. The salt helps to remove any excess moisture from the skin.
If you're not sure how to "score" duck breast, this tutorial shows you how to properly score a duck breast properly. Scoring the duck breast is an important step to getting that beautifully rendered fat and crispy skin.
It is best to score the skin of the duck breast when the duck is cold as the skin will be more firm and easier to work with.
Different from how you would cook a steak or chicken, you want to lay your scored duck breast in a cold cast iron or oven-safe pan skin side down. Yes that's right, you're starting with a cold pan! It might seem weird but, starting with a cold pan allows you to render as much fat as possible from the breast. This in turn helps you get a crispy skin.
Turn on the heat to medium-high and allow to heat up. You'll start to hear the sizzling of the duck fat. Allow the duck to cook skin side down on the pan for 5-8 minutes. Resist the urge to lift the duck off the pan, just let it do it's thing!
After 5-8 minutes, flip your duck breast and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side. This will seal in the juices.
After 1-2 minutes, drain some of the duck fat from the pan. Do not throw this away! This can be used to make a delicious side of crispy duck fat potatoes! (See What To Serve With Duck Breast for recipe).
Salt the skin side again and then flip the breast back over so that it is skin side down again and place skillet in the oven to roast.
Roast the duck breast in the oven for another 4-6 minutes at 400˚F for a medium rare to medium duck breast.
While your duck breast is roasting, start working on your balsamic cherry and red wine sauce.
Balsamic Cherry & Red Wine Sauce
This sauce couldn't be more simple yet it is bursting with flavours of sweet cherries!
Remove the pits from your sweet cherries and cut them in half. This can be a little bit time consuming if you don't have a cherry pitter but it's well worth it!
Next, mince your garlic and your tarragon and set aside. Using a vegetable peeler, remove 2 pieces of rind from your lemon.
Heat a skillet on medium heat and add your olive oil to the pan. Add your garlic to the pan, sauteing until fragrant.
Add 3⁄4 of the cherries, balsamic vinegar, red wine, 1 tbsp of tarragon and the lemon rind to the pan and reduce the heat to low and allow to reduce.
Once the sauce is reduced, add the remaining cherries and stir. Season to taste.
When the duck is done roasting, remove from the oven and place on a plate or cutting board to rest for at least 4 minutes. Make sure to rest it with the skin side up so you don't lose your crispy skin!
To check the duck for done-ness, press the duck breast firmly with your finger. If the duck breast is cooked correctly, breast should be soft but should spring back slightly to the touch!
Plate Your Roasted Duck Breast!
Once rested, slice your duck breast in 1 inch thick strips. When you slice into the breast, it should be nice and pink. Unlike other poultry, duck is meant to be served medium rare so pink is fine here!
Remove the lemon rinds from the cherry sauce before you add it to the plate. Carefully pour a generous portion of the sauce over the duck breast.
Garnish with some pea shoots (optional) and fresh tarragon.
What to Serve With Duck Breast?
There are many delicious sides that would pair perfectly with duck breast, but duck fat potatoes are an obvious choice since you've already got the duck fat to make this crispy, flavourful side dish!
Simply chop your favourite potatoes into wedges, cubes or even smash them and add them to the pan you cooked your duck pat in and pour in the extra duck fat you set aside and sprinkle with some salt and pepper and herbs of your choice.
Roast in the oven for 5-10 minutes and you've got the perfect pairing to your duck breast.
If you're craving some different than regular old potatoes, try our Gratin Dauphinois from Le Sélect Bistro for a ready-made, elevated potato dish that will satisfy all your cravings! All you need to do is reheat and serve!
Duck also pairs beautifully with wild rice, roasted vegetables, roasted cabbage, or a nice refreshing salad.
Did You Try This Recipe?
If so, we'd love to see your finished product! Share a photo of your roasted duck breast and tag us on Instagram @themarketat100kmfood!