Duck Breasts with Pinot Noir and Cherry Sauce

Duck Breasts with Pinot Noir and Cherry Sauce Recipe
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr
This recipe starts with a gastrique, a classic combination of caramelized sugar, vinegar, and fruit. Whipping cream finishes the sauce, adding velvety richness that underscores the robust flavor of duck. Serve with green and wax beans.


4 servings (serving size: 1 duck breast half and 1/4 cup sauce)

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Nutritional Information

Calories 416
Caloriesfromfat 29 %
Fat 13.2 g
Satfat 4.9 g
Monofat 5.6 g
Polyfat 1.2 g
Protein 48.1 g
Carbohydrate 23.7 g
Fiber 4.3 g
Cholesterol 264 mg
Iron 8.5 mg
Sodium 387 mg
Calcium 42 mg


3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce) boneless duck breast halves, skinned
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups pinot noir or other spicy dry red wine
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup whipping cream


1. Combine sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until sugar dissolves, stirring gently as needed to dissolve sugar evenly (about 1 minute). Continue cooking 5 minutes or until golden (do not stir). Remove from heat; carefully stir in cherries and vinegar (caramelized sugar will harden and stick to spoon). Place pan over low heat until caramelized sugar melts.

2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper over duck. Add duck to pan; cook 5 minutes. Turn duck over; cook 4 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from pan; let stand 5 minutes. Cut duck across the grain into thin slices.

3. Return skillet to medium heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil, shallots, and garlic to pan; cook 1 minute or until tender, stirring frequently. Add wine to pan; increase heat to medium-high. Bring mixture to a boil; cook until reduced to 3/4 cup (about 6 minutes). Add broth; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 6 minutes). Pour wine mixture through a fine sieve into cherry mixture; discard solids. Bring cherry mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in cream; simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Serve sauce over duck.

Marge Perry and David Bonom,

Cooking Light

October 2008
My Notes

Only you will be able to view, print, and edit this note.

Add Note