Duck Breasts in Port & Marsala Jus

This entry is filed under Chicken Recipes.


For special occasions, roast duck for Sunday lunch is hard to beat. It’s just as satisfying as sirloin or rib of beef but kinder on the purse. And you don’t have to buy a whole duck, just the breasts will do so long as they’re plump and meaty (Gressingham are good), added to that they take far less time to cook than a whole bird.

There are two ways to cook duck breast. You can pan fry them skin side down over a low heat, rendering down the fat before skimming it off then increasing to a medium heat and cooking anywhere between 8-12 minutes (depending on how rare you like it). Or you can start them off in the pan and finish in the oven, which is what I’ve done here. N.B:  it is important to use a wide based frying pan to reduce the jus in the required time.

Serves: 4
Effort Level: Easy

4 x 200g duck breasts
Port &  Marsala Jus
400ml port
400ml marsala
1 orange
Chinese five spice
1 tbsp Knorr liquid beef stock
Salt & pepper

Wide based frying pan
Chopping board & sharp knife
Baking tray
Fine microplane

Here’s What You Do:
Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F?Gas 7

Score the skin on the duck breasts with a sharp knife and season well with salt and pepper.

Place the frying pan over a high heat, (don’t add any oil) and let it get good and hot. Lay the duck breasts skin side down in the hot pan and sear them for 1 minute. Turn them over and sear the other side for 30 seconds then transfer to a baking tray skin side up and put aside.

Drain off the fat from the frying pan, keeping back the sediment, then pour in 400ml port and 400ml marsala. Boil rapidly for 8 -10 minutes.

When 5 minutes have passed, slide the duck breasts onto the top oven shelf and roast 5 minutes for rare and 7 minutes for medium rare.

Once the port /marsala jus has reduced to around a third and become thick and syrupy add 1 tbsp Knorr liquid beef stock and the zest from the orange and boil for 1 minute.

Take the breasts out the oven and let them rest for a minute  whilst you finish off the sauce.

Next, squeeze the orange juice into the pan along with a good pinch of Chinese five spice and boil for 1 minute or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Carefully spoon the jus around each duck breast and serve.

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