The sauce that accompanies this seared duck breast is straight out of a 5-star restaurant. It tastes so good that you’ll have a hard time believing how simple it is to make. With only a handful of ingredients, you can create this delicious reduction of red wine and blackberries that goes great with any red meat.
For this recipe, I always use homemade stock when available. Using high-quality bone broth that is full of gelatin will take this sauce from good to incredible. It adds body and deep savory flavors to offset the blackberries. When choosing wine for this recipe, pick a dry red. You can also look for one with blackberry notes that will pull everything together quite nicely.
- 4 duck breasts
- Salt & pepper
- Oil or clarified butter for cooking
- 1 large shallot, sliced
- 4-6 sprigs of thyme
- 2 cups of duck, venison, or veal stock (unsalted)
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 1 cup blackberries, divided
- 1 tsp. black peppercorns
- 2 tbsp. butter
Also works with
- Before you begin cooking, prep the duck breast. Pat very, very dry with paper towels and, if you left the skin on, score into crosshatch marks. Season it with salt and pepper a few hours before you plan to cook it. Leave it inside your fridge uncovered to dry the skin out. Pull to bring it to room temperature when you start making the sauce.
- Pre-heat a small saucepot over medium heat. Add a small splash of cooking oil or clarified butter. Once melted, toss in the shallots and thyme. Allow the aromatics to sauté until soft and translucent. Pour in the stock, red wine, ½ cup of blackberries and peppercorns.
- Bring it to a very soft boil and reduce heat so that it has a constant, gentle simmer. Let the sauce reduce down to one cup (roughly 1/3 of original volume). This could take 30-45 minutes. Do not add salt.
- When the sauce has reduced, pour through a fine mesh strainer into a separate container. Press the blackberry seeds to extract as much juices from the pulp as you can. Set aside.
- Pre-heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil with a high smoke point or clarified butter. Once melted, lay the duck breasts skin-side down. Use a small spatula to press it down to avoid the center from popping up while contracting. Sear for 2-4 minutes or until golden brown, then flip. Continue cooking on the opposite side to your desired doneness. Timing will depend on the size of the breast. The internal temp should be 125 for very rare and up to 135 for medium. Remove and set aside to rest.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and deglaze the pan with the reserved sauce, scraping the fond (or small cracklings) found at the bottom. Let the sauce gently boil and cook for another couple of minutes and then swirl the butter in. Stir the sauce until the butter is fully incorporated, then add in remaining ½ cup of blackberries. Turn the heat off and let the sauce cool and thicken. Taste and season with pinch of salt and pepper.
- Slice the duck breast and serve with the blackberry sauce.