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Seared Breast of Duck with Cranberry Apple Chutney


Seared Breast of Duck with Cranberry Apple Chutney
Printed with Permission
This recipe for seared breast of duck with cranberry apple chutney and sauce gastrique is an inspired meeting of classical and modern cuisine. This lovely creation from Kamisha Jones, winner of the Midwest regionals of the Almost Famous Chef 2013 competition has been adapted for the home kitchen, so don’t be intimidated by the moving parts: the chutney and gastrique can actually be made ahead of time. Gastrique (or Agrodolce in Italian) is sweet and sour sauce, a fabulous accompaniment to roast chicken, lamb and grilled fish. The original recipe was served with a spiced sweet potato puree and a salad of microgreens and toasted walnuts atop a base of paper-thin baked apple slices.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Approximately: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


  • For the Chutney:
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cored
  • 1 small Serrano pepper (or ½ larger one)
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • ½ cup organic sugar
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • Small pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of pepper
  • For the Gastrique:
  • ¼ cup organic sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Cabernet sauvignon
  • 2 cups veal or chicken stock
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • For the Duck Breast
  • ½ cup Honey
  • 1 Small Bay leaf
  • 1 Sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 ½ teaspoons whole peppercorns
  • 2 6-ounce boneless, skin-on duck breasts
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Prepare the Chutney:
Finely chop the dried cranberries and Granny Smith apple. Remove the inner ribs and seeds from the Serrano, taking care to wear gloves or use a plastic bag to protect your hands. Place the berries, apple, Serrano, orange juice, sugar, apple juice and a small pinch of sea salt in a 2-quart saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce flame to low and simmer until the chutney is thick and syrupy, 10-15 minutes. Remove the Serrano and discard. Cool the chutney to room temperature.
Prepare the Gastrique:
Place the sugar in a 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium low heat, without stirring until the sugar melts and is liquid. Continue to cook the liquid, tipping the pan back and forth occasionally (but not stirring) until the sugar caramelizes, turning uniformly golden amber.
Carefully add the vinegar and wine and swirl in the pan until the mixture comes together.
Stir in the stock and cranberries, and reduce the sauce by half. Add salt and pepper to taste, strain the sauce and set aside.
For the Duck:
Preheat oven to 400’F.
In a 2-quartt saucepot bring 3 cups of water, honey bay leaf, thyme and peppercorn to a boil. Turn heat to low.
Score the skin of the duck breast with shallow, crosshatch cuts. Poach the duck, skin side down, for 1-2 minutes.
Remove with tongs and pat dry with paper towels. Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium flame.
Season the duck with salt and pepper and cook the breasts skin side down until the skin is crisp, about 6 minutes.
Turn the breasts over (skin side up) over and place skillet in oven for 8-10 minutes or until the duck reaches an internal temperature of 120’F for medium rare.
Remove the pan from the oven and let the breasts rest for 2-3 minutes before slicing. Cut the breasts on the bias into 6-8 slices each.
Drizzle an arc of the gastrique sauce on one side of the plate. Top with fanned out slices of duck (3-4 per person) and top with a dab of chutney.
Serves 4
Adaptation Copyright 2013 by Jen Hoy
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