Pan-Fry

Duck Breast With Blueberry-Port Sauce

by:
August 23, 2019
4 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

It might seem like an extravagance to cook duck for one, but I really stand by it: Duck breast is a staple in my weekly line-up not only because it's fairly cheap for a single cut, but also because it couldn't be easier to cook. Now, I can understand the fear of those who have never cooked duck—or hell, of those who have never even eaten it. It's the kind of meat you order at fancy French restaurants or gawk at in food magazines. But I'm telling you: It's worth trying at home if only to add something new to your after-work repertoire. And as you'll see with this recipe, it doesn't take much at all. If anything, pan-seared duck breast almost asks of you your negligence, as the fat needs time to render in the pan, untouched, left to do what it does best. —Eric Kim

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: This Ingredient Is a Solo Home Cook's Secret Weapon. —The Editors

  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 1
Ingredients
  • 1 (8-ounce) boneless, skin-on duck breast
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 scallion, whites finely diced and greens cut on the diagonal
  • 1/2 cup ruby Port
  • 1/2 cup frozen Maine blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Score the duck’s skin with a cross-hatch pattern, making sure not to pierce the actual flesh underneath. Season both sides with salt and place, skin-side down, in a cold skillet. Turn on the heat to medium-low and let cook on the skin side 10 to 15 minutes, until much of the fat has rendered out. Flip and sear the other side 2 minutes, or until internal temperature of the meat is 135°F, medium-rare. Set aside to rest while you make the pan sauce.
  2. Pour the duck fat out into a glass or ceramic container (save that for potatoes another day), leaving about 1 teaspoon behind. Sauté the white parts of the scallion 1 minute, seasoning with salt. Splash in the Port and frozen blueberries and let reduce until very syrupy, about 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and fish sauce and let warm through for a few seconds. Take off the heat and add the pat of butter, moving it around constantly until fully melted and sauce is glossy.
  3. Transfer sauce to a plate. Carve the duck breast into thin slices and lay over the sauce. Garnish with the green parts of the scallion and freshly ground black pepper. Eat with roasted potatoes or a side salad, like frisée or radicchio.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • enda
    enda
  • Nirvana.Klein
    Nirvana.Klein
Eric Kim is the Table for One columnist at Food52. Formerly the managing editor at Food Network and a PhD candidate in literature at Columbia University, he is currently working on his first cookbook, to be published by Clarkson Potter in Spring 2022. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can find his bylines at Saveur, Bon Appétit, and The New York Times and follow him on Twitter @ericjoonho. Born and raised in Georgia, Eric lives in a tiny shoebox in Manhattan with his dog, Quentin "Q" Compson.

    3 Reviews

    enda December 5, 2020
    i have eaten duck all my life in many parts of the world but this recipe from Eric Kim whom i am now going to follow is without a doubt the BEST i have ever tasted ..awesome ! so happy to have discovered a master in the kitchen 5 stars all the way
     
    enda December 5, 2020
    i have eaten duck all my life in many parts of the world but this recipe from Eric Kim whom i am now going to follow is without a doubt the BEST i have ever tasted ..awesome ! so happy to have discovered a master in the kitchen
     
    Nirvana.Klein September 2, 2019
    This is a stunning, gorgeous meal and it will go in my regular rotation. I love Eric's writing; I wish he'd write a travel/food memoir! I prepared it exactly as recommended, but the duck breast I used was pretty thick so I did cook it until it reached a safe internal temperature (recommendations vary wildly online - if you trust your duck source 135F is probably fine; if you are unsure or bought it frozen 165-170 is probably safer but of course less rare).