Duck Breast with Bourbon and Dried Fruit Sauce

Ashbell McElveen's tender duck served with dried fruit in a honeyed sauce makes a rich dinner party starter or main course
By Ashbell McElveen
Duck Breast with Bourbon and Dried Fruit Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4 as a starter, 2 as a main course
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus 1 hr marinating
  • Effort: medium



  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 175 ml sour mash bourbon whiskey
  • 2 duck breast, skin on
  • black pepper
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
  • 250 ml chicken stock
  • 40 g raisins
  • 175 g mixed dried fruit, such as chopped apples, apricots and prunes
  • 2 tbsp honey


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

2. Mix half of the garlic with half of the bourbon in a shallow dish. Add the duck breasts, cover and leave to marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour.

3. Remove the duck breasts from the dish, reserving the marinade, and pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Place the duck, fat-side down, in an ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until sealed and golden. Turn over and cook for a further 2 minutes to seal the other side.

5. Place the frying pan in the preheated oven for 4-8 minutes, depending on how well done you like your duck.

6. Remove the duck from the pan, drain off the fat and place the pan on the hob. Add the remaining garlic and the shallots and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until softened but not browned.

7. Add the reserved marinade and the chicken stock, raisins, mixed fruit and honey. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half. Add the remaining bourbon at the last minute.

8. Remove the duck breasts from the pan with a slotted spoon. Slice the duck and fan out the slices on a serving plate. Remove the dried fruit from the pan with a slotted spoon and serve on the side. Drizzle the sauce over the duck. Serve as a starter on a bed of baby salad leaves or with cooked polenta, or as a main course, with rice.

Rate This Recipe