Duck breasts with blackberry sauce

Duck breasts with blackberry sauce


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This simple but extravagantly flavoured dish of tender duck breasts coated in spices is served in a fruity wine sauce, and is perfect for a dinner party or a special celebration.

Pat Alburey

Serves: 4 

  • 4 boneless duck breasts, about 200g each
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons blackberry liqueur or blackberry nip
  • 4 tablespoons red wine
  • ½ small cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise, optional
  • 1 small orange
  • 300g fresh blackberries
  • 2 level teaspoons arrowroot or cornflour

Preparation:25min  ›  Cook:14min  ›  Ready in:39min 

  1. Remove any sinews from the duck and lightly score the skin into a diamond pattern. Mix the five-spice powder with some salt and pepper and rub it over the breasts.
  2. Put the blackberry nip, red wine, cinnamon and star anise, if using, into a small pan. Grate the rind from the orange into the pan, then bring to the boil.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the duck, skin side down, in a dry frying pan over moderate heat for 4–5 minutes, until the skins have turned golden brown and enough fat has been released to cook the other sides. Turn and cook for 5–6 minutes more for medium rare, longer for well done. Spoon off excess fat.
  4. While the duck is cooking, rinse the blackberries and add to the wine. Squeeze the orange. Add half the juice to the wine, return to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Blend the rest of the juice with the arrowroot.
  5. Strain the blackberries into a bowl and put aside. Return the liquid to the pan and stir in the blended arrowroot. Bring back to the boil, stirring, until thickened, then add the blackberries and heat through gently.
  6. Slice the duck and serve on heated individual plates with the sauce spooned over the top.


For a simple vegetable side dish, cut up boiled new potatoes and mix with crème fraiche.


good source of vitamins B group, C and E, and zinc.

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