Seared Duck Breast with Blackcurrant Compote

Duck meat is very distinct and flavorful. When I was in Hong Kong, the only duck that I ate was the traditional Chinese roast duck. Until recently years, I have tried seared duck with fruity sauce. And, I can’t stop thinking about it. Finally, I got the courage to make duck at home. The duck breast was very easy to cook, and everything came out perfect. The sauce can be a little sweet. If you can find unsweetened jam, that would be even better. This dish is excellent for special occasion.

Seared Duck Breast with Blackcurrant Compote (Adapted from Bob Blumer, Surreal gourmet)

2 – 3 servings


–   4 (6-ounce) boneless duck breasts

–   4 shallots (minced)

–   ¼ cup balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar

–   ¼ cup blackcurrant jam (unsweetened if possible)

–   ¼ cup crème de Cassis (blackcurrant flavored liqueur)

–   1 teaspoon salt

–   3 teaspoons ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet.
  2. To prepare the duck, place the duck with skin side up. Using a sharp knife, score 4 (1/4-inch-deep) cuts across the skin at a 45-degree angle. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper over the meat side of each duck breast.
  3. Heat a large well-seasoned skillet or nonstick pan over high heat. When pan is hot, add duck breasts with skin side down, and cook for 5 minutes, or until skin is brown and crispy. Flip and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Remove pan from heat (save the drippings) and transfer duck breast with skin side up to the baking sheet. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 6 minutes.
  5. Carefully discard all but 2 tablespoons of duck drippings from the pan. Return pan to medium heat and add shallot. Stir occasionally for 3 minutes, or until shallot begins to turn golden. Add the liqueur to the pan, and stir to loosen up the browned bits left by the duck. Add jam, vinegar, and remaining teaspoon of black pepper, and stir occasionally for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. Remove duck from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice each breast at a 45-degree angle into ¼-inch-thick strips. Place the duck breast slices on a plate, and spoon the sauce overtop. Serve immediately.


  1. If you cannot find blackcurrant jam, you can use black cherry, boysenberry, or similar preserve. I used a blueberry and blackcurrant preserve.
  2. If the duck breasts come as butterflied, separate them by slicing down the middle.

Source: Read


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