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Game birds, like the duck in this recipe, are most flavorful, tender, and moist when cooked medium or medium rare and given at least 10 minutes to rest.



Cook Time: 10 Minutes

2 5–6 ounce duck breast halves or 1 12–16 ounce duck breast half

2 tablespoons chilled butter, divided

¼ cup finely chopped shallot

½ cup low-sodium chicken broth

8 sweet red cherries, fresh or frozen and thawed, pitted and halved

2 tablespoons tawny port

1 tablespoon orange blossom honey

Salt and pepper


Based on 1 ratings

Preparation Method

  1. Place duck breast halves between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound lightly to an even thickness, about ½–¾ inch. Discard plastic wrap. Using sharp knife, score skin in a ¾-inch crosshatch pattern, being careful not to cut into the meat. Cover and chill. This can be done up to 8 hours before cooking.
  2. In a large, heavy skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Season duck with salt and pepper. Add duck, skin side down, to skillet and cook until skin is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn duck over, reduce heat to medium, and cook until browned and cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes longer for small breasts and 8 minutes longer for a large breast for medium rare. Transfer to work surface, tent with foil to keep warm, and let rest 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, pour off all but 2 tablespoons of drippings from skillet. Add shallot and stir over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add broth, cherries, tawny port, and honey. Increase heat to high; stirring often, boil until sauce reduces to a glaze, about 3 minutes. Whisk in 1 tablespoon cold butter. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

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