A Holiday Recipe Guests Will Love: Glazed Duck with Cherry Balsamic Sauce

Written by | Food & Wine

glazed duck

Searching for a new dinner party favorite for fans of waterfowl? Try this honey glazed duck breast. Many foodies are intimidated by the idea of cooking duck meat at home, but it can be a delicious treat and surprisingly simple to cook. Duck meat is a very flavorful type of poultry, while also being a good source of protein, iron, zinc, vitamin B-6 and thiamine. Eaten without the skin, duck breasts are as lean as white meat chicken or turkey. They also contain more iron per serving than most other poultry, and even some cuts of beef. However, this deliciously thin and crispy layer of succulent honey glazed skin is worth the calories!


Duck Ingredients

2 6-ounce duck breasts

crushed coriander seed



Sauce Ingredients

1 Tbsp orange blossom honey

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup red wine

3/4 cup low-salt chicken broth

1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger (optional)

2 small shallots, finely chopped

1 Tbsp butter

10 sweet cherries, halved and pitted


Serve with

Sea beans

poached or roasted candied beets

sliced roasted shallots


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Trim excess fat from duck breasts, leaving a 1/4-inch layer covering the breast. Using a sharp knife, score the skin in a 3/4-inch diamond pattern (but do not cut into flesh). Season with sea salt and crushed coriander seed

Place a carbon steel or cast-iron pan on burner cold. Place the duck in, skin side down. Turn burner to medium, and sizzle gently for about seven minutes, until skin is crisp and golden, reducing heat as necessary to keep from getting too dark. Remove excess duck fat in pan as it melts and reserve for use later in the preparation. Turn breasts over and cook two more minutes. Drizzle skin with honey and finish cooking breasts three minutes in a 400-degree oven. Duck internal temperature should be 120-125 degrees. Remove breasts and let rest ten minutes.

Add two tablespoons of drippings from the duck skillet. Add shallots and stir for 30 seconds on medium heat. De glaze pan with red wine. Add balsamic, cherries, and orange blossom honey. Increase heat to high and boil until sauce is reduced to a glaze, stirring often for about three minutes. Whisk in one tablespoon cold butter. Season to taste. Strain if desired.

Thinly slice duck breasts at an angle and arrange slices on a platter. Spoon some of the sauce and cherries next to meat and reserve remaining sauce to pass at the table. Plate with accoutrements as above.

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Last modified: August 19, 2019