Roasted duck breast with plum sauce

Roasted duck breast with plum sauce

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(98 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 15 mins - 20 mins Plus resting


Serves 2

This easy yet impressive recipe makes a stylish main course for a special occasion

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal904
  • fat64g
  • saturates20g
  • carbs39g
  • sugars38g
  • fibre2g
  • protein44g
  • salt1.05g
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  • 2 duck breasts
  • 1 thyme sprig


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 1 star anise
    Star anise

    Star anise

    star an-eese

    Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with…

  • 25g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

For the plum sauce

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 250g dark red plums, halved, stoned and cut into small wedges



    The juiciest fruit in the stone fruit family, plums come in many different varieties, some sweet…

  • 50g demerara sugar
  • 50ml red wine
  • 300ml beef stock


  1. For the sauce, fry the shallot in the oil for 5 mins or until softened but not coloured. Add the plums and sugar, stirring for a few mins until the sugar has dissolved. Add the red wine and stock, then simmer for about 15 mins, stirring occasionally, until softened and slightly thickened. Keep warm or leave at room temperature for up to a day before reheating to serve.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/gas 4. Score the skin of the duck breasts with a sharp knife and season well with salt and pepper. Heat a non-stick frying pan and place the duck breasts in, skin-side down. Fry for 6-7 mins, then turn and add the thyme, star anise and butter. Allow this to melt, basting the duck with the juices, then transfer everything to a small roasting tin and finish in the oven for 5-6 mins for pink or 10-12 mins for well done.

  3. When the duck is ready, baste again with the juices, then rest for 5 mins while you finish everything else.

  4. To serve, thinly slice each duck breast on a chopping board. Arrange on each plate along with a spoon of the Creamed potatoes, some of the plum sauce and the Buttered spinach.

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Comments, questions and tips

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28th Jan, 2017
Only got as far as the sauce, was far too sweet, so threw it out Followed the recipe exactly - can only assume the plums were already sweet.
1st Dec, 2016
I prepared the duck and plum sauce for my gourmet group and it was a huge hit! I thought the flavors were spectacular and restaurant-worthy while very easy to make. One of my most impressive dishes! I made the sauce a day in advance (tripled the recipe), did not refrigerate, and reheated just prior to serving on stove top and it was rich and syrupy. For the duck my cooking time in the oven was longer, however. Breasts were nearly 1lb and took the full 11 minutes for rare at 350F. Thank you for such a special dish!
10th Sep, 2016
So simple, hit with the whole family. One little tweak added a little more sugar than stated in the recipe.
17th Apr, 2016
Very good recipe, blitzed the sauce to make it smooth and had the consistency of gravy, served with sweet potatoes and spinach
Julie Meeds
10th Jan, 2016
Hi, has anyone tried freezing the left over sauce?
15th Feb, 2015
just finished eating and it was delicious! I didnt use the stock at all, for the sauce, only the wine and a bit more sugar than the recipe recommends. the sauce was very syrupy and made a perfect match with the duck. served potato mash (made it with double cream, butter and chopped red onions). all 3 things took me less than an hour to make but tasted like I was eating restaurant food!
14th Nov, 2014
I followed the recipe to the letter and it was absolutely delicious. Served it with mash and kale, who needs to go to a restaurant when you can do recipes like this home!
Angelica Mercie...
20th Jul, 2014
Brilliant recipe! Including the side dishes! Lovely! Made this for my husband yesterday and he absolutely loved it. I did simmer the sauce for longer and used less stock and about half a plum over the amount mentioned to get a thicker sauce. One other change I made is instead of heating the pan before putting the duck breasts in I followed Gordon Ramsay's suggestion of putting the duck in a cold pan and letting it heat up on very low heat. This helps to render the duck fat, making the meat less fatty and the skin gloriously crispy! I also used a hob proof tin that could go straight in the oven instead of transferring from a frying pan to a roasting tin.
19th Apr, 2014
Absolutely recommends this recipe. This is the first time I cook duck and it was Super easy and tasted and looked amazing. For the sauce, I also reduced for about 30/35 minutes and whizz it so that it looks smoother.
31st Dec, 2013
Made this last night for 4 (multiplied all the ingredients by 2). I followed the recipe to the letter but instead of reducing the sauce for 15 minutes, I reduced for about 30/35 minutes, the sauce was delicious with a lovely consistency. Super recipe, easy, but real woh factory, will defiantly be making this again.


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