Duck Breasts with Plum Sauce

If you do not have a mill that grinds spices coarsely, place them in a plastic bag and smash them with the bottom of a heavy pot. If plums are no longer available, soak 6 prunes, cut them up, omit the sugar and substitute for the plums.


  • 3 Muscovy duck breasts
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 8 prune or blue plums, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 450 F.

Slice 1-inch slashes across duck skin, being careful not to cut into the duck meat itself. Coarsely grind peppercorns, coriander seeds and fennel seeds and rub spice mixture into duck skin. Season with salt.

Place duck, skin side down, in a cold oven-proof skillet and turn burner to medium-high. Cook on stove top for 5 minutes or until skin is golden, then pour off fat and flip the duck skin side up. Add plums to skillet and cook 2 minutes, or until meat is seared.

Place in oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until duck is pink. Remove from oven, take out the duck and keep it warm.

Discard all fat from skillet, leaving plums. Add wine and sugar to skillet over high heat and reduce for 3 minutes or until about 2 tablespoons of liquid remain. Add stock and bring to boil. Boil until stock is reduced by half and slightly thickened. Scrape into a bowl and use an immersion blender to puree plums into sauce. Return sauce to skillet over low heat and stir in butter until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slice breasts into 1-inch slices and divide among 4 plates. Coat with sauce. Serves 4