Duck with Blackberry Sauce


A unique, delicious way to prepare duck breast.


© 2007 Condé Nast, Inc. / Epicurious

4 Servings
Preparation time
34 minutes
Cooking time
11 minutes
Total time
45 minutes
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar
1⁄3 cup white wine (dry)
1⁄3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1 1⁄4 cups blackberries (frozen)
1 1⁄4 cups beef broth
1⁄2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons cognac (or brandy)
1 tablespoon maple syrup (the real stuff)
24 ounces duck breast (roughly 2 breasts; cut in half (4 pieces total))

Sauce: (can be prepared 1 day ahead - cover and chill if so)

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy, large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat
  2. Add sugar and stir until sugar dissolves and the mixture turns a deep amber colour (about 5 minutes)
  3. Add wine, orange juice and vinegar (mixture will bubble vigorously)
  4. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve caramel
  5. Add 1 1/4 cups berries and both broths and boil until the sauce thickens and is reduced to about 1 cup, stirring occasionally (about 25 minutes)
  6. Strain sauce through sieve into heavy small saucepan, pressing on berries with back of spoon
  7. Mix in Cognac and maple syrup
  8. Set sauce aside


  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F
  2. Trim any excess fat from duck breasts
  3. Cut three 4-inch-long by 1/16-inch-deep lengthwise slits in skin (not meat) of duck
  4. Season duck with salt and pepper
  5. Heat heavy large ovenproof skillet over high heat until hot
  6. Add duck, skin-side down, and sear until brown (about 5 minutes)
  7. Turn over and cook for 3 minutes
  8. Transfer skillet to oven, continue cooking to desired done-ness (about 3 minutes for medium)
  9. Meanwhile, bring sauce to simmer over low heat
  10. Add remaining tablespoon of butter and whisk until just melted
  11. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper


  1. Spoon sauce onto plates
  2. Slice duck and place atop sauce
  3. Garnish with additional berries if desired and serve

Suggest serving with green beans for a colourful presentation.

Submitted by Betty McCormick.

This recipe was used at the Post Hotel at Lake Louise, Alberta.