This Crispy Duck Breast with Cherry-Caper Sauce is contrary to most recipes for crispy duck breast, this one does not sear the breast over high heat, but instead cooks the breast, skin side down, over medium heat to release the fat, crisp the skin and still leave the duck medium rare. The cherries and capers complement each other, it is delicious!

Crispy Duck Breast with Cherry-Caper Sauce

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Course: Dinner
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Passive Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 30 minutes
Degree of Difficulty : Easy
Servings: 2 people


  • 2 whole duck breasts
  • 1 large shallot finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup bourbon or cognac
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 10-15 whole sweet cherries including juices
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 bunch water cress or baby arugula


  • Gather all ingredients before starting the recipe.

The day Before

  • Score the skin of the duck breasts, season with salt and place on a plate, do not cover, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or overnight. This period will 'dry' the duck breasts which will help to make the skin crispy. Bring duck back to room temperature before cooking.


  • Heat a medium skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, add duck breasts. The duck should not sizzle when placed in the pan, cook for 15-20 minutes or until the skin is nicely browned and the skin looks crispy,
  • Turn the duck, skin side up, and cook for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a plate and allow to rest while making the sauce.
  • Drain all but 1-2 tablespoons of dripping from the pan, increase heat to medium high and add the chopped shallots.
  • Sauté shallots until they start to color, then add the bourbon or cognac, and cook until evaporated, 2-3 minutes.
  • Add chicken stock, and cook until reduced by half, then add the vinegar and cherry juice and stir to combine, cook until reduced to a sauce consistency, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add cherries and capers and stir to combine and heat through, 1-2 minutes


  • Slice duck breast into 1" slices and drizzle with cherry, caper sauce. Garnish with baby arugula or watercress.

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