Sautéed duck breasts with port & cranberries

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15 min


4 servings

* PLUS Cooking time: 15 minutes


  • 2 to 3 boneless duck breasts
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1 apple
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 green onion
  • 6 thin slices peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 cup marsala or port
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp dried cranberries


  • Thaw duck if frozen. If using a double breast, cut in half to separate breasts. Pat dry with paper towels. Place duck, skin side up, on a cutting board. Using a knife with a sharp tip, score duck skin in a diamond pattern. Turn meat side up and sprinkle with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Rub into meat.
  • Set a large frying pan over medium heat. Do not add oil. When pan is hot, place duck in pan, skin side down. Cook until skin is golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain fat occasionally. Turn duck over and continue to cook, uncovered, 1 to 3 minutes for rare or 2 to 4 minutes for medium-rare, depending on size of breasts.
  • While duck is cooking, peel apple, then core. Thinly slice. Finely chop shallot. Thinly slice green onion diagonally. Slice ginger. Remove cooked duck to a large plate. Drain all but 1 tbsp (15 mL) fat from pan. Add apple and shallot. Stir often over medium heat, 2 minutes. Pour in port. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up and stir in any brown bits from pan bottom. Then stir in ginger, sugar, cranberries and pinches of salt and pepper. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally, uncovered, until apples are fork-tender and sauce has thickened slightly, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove ginger slices.
  • When sauce is almost thickened, place duck on a cutting board. Pour juices on duck plate into sauce. Slice breasts diagonally. Spoon sauce onto 4 warmed dinner plates. Then fan duck slices on top of sauce. Sprinkle with green onion.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 455,
  • Protein
  • 36.4 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 23.3 g,
  • Fat
  • 19.3 g,
  • Fibre
  • 0.9 g,
  • Sodium
  • 130 mg.

Cooking duck breast is a snap compared to cooking a whole bird. Just follow our easy directions and you’ll quickly wind up with irresistible crispy skin and perfectly cooked meat.

Shopping Tip

Duck breasts are sold fresh or frozen in butcher shops and some supermarkets. They come in 2 sizes – boneless double and single breasts. Double breasts weigh in at about 1 to 1 1/2 lbs (500 to 750 g). When you buy these, separate before cooking. Boneless single breasts (called magret de canard) are thicker breasts often from Muscovy or Moulard ducks that are fattened to produce foie gras. They can weigh up to 1 lb (500 g), which will easily serve 2 people.