Seared Duck Breast with Grape Sauce

seared duck breast

I don’t have that much experience cooking duck. I mean, I made some duck confit a few years ago. And then made some cured duck. But that’s pretty much it. So I was excited to try out this seared duck breast recipe from Anne Burrell. It was Zeke’s birthday, and I wanted to make him a restaurant-quality meal at home. And I did! I spent a lot on the kosher duck breasts (from Pomegranate), but still spent much less money than I would have if we went out to a fancy restaurant.

Our dinner guests were a little scared to try duck – they’ve never had it before – but I saw them keep going back for seconds and thirds, so I know they liked it.

The grape sauce was really amazing. I didn’t use real port, mostly because it was very expensive, but we found a pretty good substitute. And since I only used half a cup, we had the rest for dessert that night!

Oh, and the best part was that Pomegranate had lamb bacon! I have been wanting to make some myself (you know, cure a lamb belly. Because that’s a good summer project), but couldn’t before this project. So I took the easy way out and bought it myself. They also had veal bacon. Who says you need to eat unkosher to enjoy all these foods? Just because it’s not pig, doesn’t mean it doesn’t add that same smoky flavor bacon gets you.

Seared Duck Breast with Grape Sauce, Adapted from Anne Burrell:

Serves 4


  • 4 duck breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes
  • 2 strips lamb bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1/2 cup port wine (I used Shiloh’s Fort)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock


1. Using a sharp knife, score duck breasts in two directions, creating a crosshatch pattern.

2. Salt them and let them sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes, to come to room temperature.

3. Add one tablespoon of olive oil into a large saute pan and bring to medium heat.

4. Place the duck breasts skin side down and cook on low, allowing the fat to render out and the skin to get crispy (I did this in batches). As the fat renders, scoop it from the pan with a spoon or pour it out and save it for another purpose.

5. Cook the duck for about 9 minute on the skin side, then flip over and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

6. Remove from pan, cover with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.

7. Add the bacon and grapes to a pan and cook until the grapes split and the bacon is crispy.

8. Remove half the grapes and reserve.

9. Add the port and the red wine vinegar to the pan, season with salt, and reduce by half. Add the reserved grapes.

10. Slice the duck on a bias and plate, pouring the grape sauce on top.