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Seared Duck Breasts with Pomegranate Sauce (A Make Ahead Recipe)

Seared Duck Breast with pomegranate sauce
Seared Duck Breasts with Pomegranate Sauce can be made ahead and are a great way to celebrate any event. You’d never guess how easy they are to prepare.

Seared Duck Breast with Pomegranate Sauce

Thanks to Maple Leaf Farms for providing these incredible duck breasts.

Yesterday Manservant and I celebrated 37 years of marriage. That’s a long time. Like most things that make life worthwhile, the path is not always easy. We’ve had lots of ups and downs so sometimes measuring in years is the easy way to do it. There is an old Yiddish saying…

That about sums life up. We all have bumps in the road and how we choose to handle them is what makes us human. In our case, the path just keeps winding, and we still have our feet to the ground.

So what does this have to do with duck? Just like entering a 38th year is new to us, so is cooking duck for me. I’ve never had the pleasure of making a duck breast and celebrations are best handled with unordinary things. Manservant loves duck. He ate duck prepared every which way in China. I’ve only had duck a few times, so after 38 years I figured it was about time I learned to cook one. Now that I’ve done it, I can’t believe it took me so long. Duck is super simple to prepare and can even be made a few days ahead. So get out your skillet and follow along!

Where to find duck breasts? Check out your local Whole Foods freezer section. Or order online here.

Duck Breast with Pomegranate Sauce

How to Cook a Duck Breast:

  1. First thaw the duck breasts. Remove from package and pat dry.
  2. Using a razor blade or a sharp knife, score skin on the diagonal in 1/4″ intervals without cutting into breast meat. Now rotate breast and score again, forming a crisscross pattern. Season with preferred seasonings. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. I used my cast iron skillet and placed duck breasts, skin down into the cold skillet and then heated the skillet to medium low. After 8-12 minutes the fat should be rendered and the skin should be crisp and golden brown. Try not to lift breast until you are pretty sure it is ready to turn.
  4. Turn breast over and cook 1-2 minutes. Pour duck fat from skillet. Save and reuse. It is delicious for frying potatoes! (At this point, duck can be refrigerated and finished at a later time. Wrap and store. Duck breast will keep 3 days in the refrigerator.)
  5. If finishing cooking immediately: Place skillet with duck in a preheated 350 degree oven and cook for 5-6 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees. Remove from oven and place n cutting board. Let rest for 4-5 minutes before slicing. Temperature should reach 165 degrees.
  6. If finishing later: . Preheat oven to 400 and cook or grill 6-8 minutes, checking internal temperature as in step #5.

There you have it! I will tell you though that many say to cook duck to medium rare. That is the preferred temperature. That is how Manservant likes it. I will admit that I like my duck cooked more. I like it slightly pink and it still turns out moist when I cook it this way. Do not be afraid to break the rules!

I prepared a pomegranate chile sauce to serve with this duck. It was divine and complimented the flavor of the duck well. Since pomegranates are so easy to find this time of year, you may want to give it a try. Not to mention that this looks so festive and merry!

Duck Breast With Pomegranate Sauce

What to serve with duck? Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf from Saving Room for Dessert is perfect. Roasted Asparagus from Taste and Tell would also be mighty fine.

And a Few More:

Saffron Herb Rice with Currants

Saffron Herb Rice with yellow and white grains is easy to make and tastes great! Plus it is so pretty! #rice #China www.thisishowicook.com

Sugared Almonds and Mandarin Orange Green Salad

Green Salad with Mandarin Oranges

Chocolate Fudge Loaf Cake

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Seared Duck Breasts with Pomegranate Sauce

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Duck Breasts with Pomegranate Sauce (Make Ahead)

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 40 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 65 Minutes
  • Yield: 2 Servings 1x
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Saute and Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Seared Duck Breasts with Pomegranate Sauce can be made ahead and are a great way to celebrate any event. You’d never guess how easy they are to prepare.

Scale

Ingredients

2 1/2 T sugar

1/4 c water

1 c Pomegranate juice (such as POM)

1 c low salt chicken broth

2 large dried California chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn it 1″ pieces (I find these in the Mexican section)

3/4 t adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (which I always have in my fridge)

3/4 t balsamic vinegar

Coarse salt

2 Duck Breasts

Season With: Coarse Salt, Fresh Black Pepper, Ground coriander

Fresh Pomegranate Seeds for garnish


Instructions

To Prepare Sauce: (This is enough sauce for 4 breasts)

Stir sugar and water in small, heavy saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil until syrup is amber colored. (Since there is so little liquid, I had to tilt the pot, while it turned color.) Swirl occasionally for about 8 minutes watching carefully so it doesn’t burn.

Add juice slowly. This will sputter A LOT! Add chicken broth and chilies. Boil until sauce is reduced to about 3/4 c, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a bit.

Pour into a large measuring cup and using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Whisk in adobo sauce and vinegar. Season generously with coarse salt. (This sauce can be made a week ahead and reheated in the microwave on low power or rewarmed on the stove.)

Prepare duck: See notes below.

When duck is ready to serve thinly slice on the diagonal. Arrange slices on plate. Sauce can either be spooned on top or placed on the plate with the duck breasts on top.


Notes

How to Cook a Duck Breast:

  1. First thaw the duck breasts. Remove from package and pat dry.
  2. Using a very sharp knife or a razor blade, score skin on the diagonal in 1/4″ intervals without cutting into breast meat. Now rotate breast and score again, forming a crisscross pattern. Season with preferred seasonings. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. I used my cast iron skillet and placed duck breasts, skin down into the cold skillet and then heated the skillet to medium low. After 8-12 minutes the fat should be rendered and the skin should be crisp and golden brown. Try not to lift breast until you are pretty sure it is ready to turn.
  4. Turn breast over and cook 1-2 minutes. Pour out duck fat from skillet and save for future use. This is so good! (At this point, duck can be refrigerated and finished at a later time. Wrap and store. Duck breast will keep 3 days in the refrigerator.)
  5. If finishing cooking immediately: Place skillet with duck in a preheated 350 degree oven and cook for 5-6 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees. Remove from oven and place n cutting board. Let rest for 4-5 minutes before slicing. Temperature should reach 165 degrees.
  6. If finishing later:  Preheat oven to 400 and cook or grill 6-8 minutes, checking internal temperature as in step #5.

Keywords: duck breast, how to prepare duck breast, pomegranate sauce

 

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  • Mimi
    December 5, 2018 at 6:46 am

    Beautiful. There is absolutely nothing I don’t love about not only the duck and sauce, but the side dishes as well. What a meal!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 7, 2018 at 8:51 am

      Thanks Mimi. It was a very special meal!

  • sippitysup
    December 3, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    Congratulations!. That’s a gorgeous sear… GREG

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 7, 2018 at 8:55 am

      You are so cute Greg!

  • Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    December 3, 2018 at 6:13 am

    This duck looks fantastic! I’ve always wanted to try making this at home. I will be on the hunt for some duck! (pun intended 🙂 Thanks Abbe – pinned 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 7, 2018 at 8:56 am

      Thanks Tricia! Love that pun! And this is great duck!

  • Nammi
    December 3, 2018 at 1:53 am

    WOw 37 years! Ours is just 15 so got a long way to go :). That duck looks so good and delicious!.

  • Jeff the Chef
    December 2, 2018 at 8:12 am

    Congratulations, both on your marriage and you duck breasts. I’ve never been a fan of duck, until recently.

  • Healthy World Cuisine
    December 1, 2018 at 8:22 am

    Loving the crispy skin and tender meat and that sauce… Yum! Perfect for guests but easy enough for family. We love that!

  • Liz
    November 30, 2018 at 3:19 am

    Bill would be thrilled to come home to this entree! I haven’t made duck since my French Fridays with Dorie days, but this would be a great way to shake up our menu.

  • angiesrecipes
    November 29, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Crisp skin and tender meat…so delicious and tempting.