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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13th Nov, 2012
This recipe is really lovely, plum sauce works very well
28th Oct, 2012
Cooked it today for dinner, it was delicious, the only critics is the plum sauce, I would put 150 ml of beef stock instead of 300ml, the sauce was way too runny and i had to simmer it for 1 hout to thicken it.
13th Oct, 2012
Really enjoyed this. Used less stock as most suggested and it was yummy. O/H was very chuffed with it. Will def be making this again for him.
25th Sep, 2012
This was delicious and really easy to make. It looked lovely and was good with mashed potatoes and sugarsnap peas. I think its really good for Autumn or Winter and would be great for a dinner party. I will definitely make again.
15th Aug, 2012
Doubled the plum sauce and cooked 2 large whole Chinese Roast Ducks (on this site) which fed 6 amply and was a delicious treat.
29th Jul, 2012
Really nice, and easy. I skipped the stock, just used a splash of red wine, turned out a lovely consistency.
12th Jun, 2012
I was slightly nervous about cooking duck, having never done it before, but this recipe was so simple and turned out really well. I agree with the comments about too much liquid with the sauce and reduced it second time round. Delicious!
6th May, 2012
The duck was so tender! My plums were a bit tasteless so I look forward to giving this another try when the plums are more in season
1st Apr, 2012
Gorgeous. I made this for my mum for mother's day with the creamed potatoes and spinach. It really was delicious. Used less stock as recommended by others and sauce worked well.
16th Feb, 2012
I also made this for Valentines. The meal was absolutely gorgeous. The duck, after 5 mins in fan oven, was beautifully pink. Served it with the creamed mash and spinach. Restaurant quality if I say so myself!


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