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Duck breast with cranberry sauce

Duck Breast with Cranberry Sauce

Duck Breast with Cranberry sauce will make a perfect main dish for any special night, anniversary celebration, or holidays, especially Christmas or New Year's Eve.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, French
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 471 kcal
Author Julia


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1.8 lb duck breasts (4 duck breasts)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt , can use more, to taste
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


How to cook duck breast:

  1. Score the skin of duck breasts in parallel lines or in criss-cross pattern. Generously season both sides of duck breasts (and especially add more salt to the skin side!) with at least 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  2. Use a large cast iron pan, or use a large stainless steel skillet.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat until the oil is hot. Add duck breasts to the skillet skin side down.
  4. Cook the duck breasts, uncovered, for about 8 minutes on medium heat on the skin side, until the fat is released. After 8 minutes of cooking, remove all of the duck fat from the skillet (leaving just a very small amount of fat, enough to lightly coat the bottom of the skillet). Turn the duck breasts over to the other side (non-skin side) and cook for 2 more minutes on medium heat. Remove the duck breasts from the skillet to a plate.

How to make cranberry sauce:

  1. Use the same skillet (the duck breasts should've been removed to the plate, and the skillet itself should not have any visible duck fat, just a tiny amount of fat + some bits from cooking the duck - remember you removed most of the duck fat in one of the steps above).
  2. To the same skillet, add honey, balsamic vinegar, and dried cranberries. Bring this mixture to boil, constantly stirring, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 minute, stirring, until the sauce reduces just a bit, and the cranberries puff up.
  3. Slice duck breasts thinly, they will be raw in the middle. Add sliced duck to the skillet with the sauce, on medium heat, and continue cooking the duck breast slices in the sauce for 1 or 2 more minutes, turning the slices to make sure to cook on each side until the duck is medium rare. While you cook the duck in this way in the sauce, it will help thicken up the sauce, as well as warm up the duck to the right temperature.
  4. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts
Duck Breast with Cranberry Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 471 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 157mg52%
Sodium 412mg18%
Potassium 586mg17%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Sugar 47g52%
Protein 40g80%
Vitamin A 110IU2%
Vitamin C 12.9mg16%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 9.6mg53%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.