Duck Breast with Cherry Liqueur Sauce

We have recently faced a supply issue on fresh chicken, being solely dependent on imports and the trading relationships with many countries. Having to do without fresh chicken means you have to opt for other sources of poultry and protein.

Fortunately, duck, although considered a red meat is still available. Chancing upon some Smoked Duck Breast already seasoned with black pepper, meant trying the ‘Reverse Searing’ method of cooking which is the current rage for cooking steaks.

One of my favourite duck breast dishes has been Gordon Ramsay’s Duck Breast a l’orange or Duck Breast with orange sauce. And because cherries are in season, I wanted to substitute the orange sauce with cherries besides perhaps using any leftover cherries for homemade cherry liqueur. 

There are obviously many recipes out there to be tried and try, one must in order to give some variety to the food we eat.

I have used fresh cherries which are in season, homemade cherry liqueur & balsamic vinegar for the sauce. Yes, balsamic vinegar which you can’t really taste but did bring out a depth in the sauce itself.

Duck Breast with Cherry Liqueur Sauce

  • Servings: 2-3 persons
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Duck Breast with Cherry Liqueur Sauce

2 duck breasts, pre-seasoned black pepper

handful of shallots, chopped

8 cherries, pitted & halved

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

4 tablespoon cherry liqueur (or any other flavoured liqueur or port)


  • Remove smoked duck breast from packaging and allow to ‘breathe’ for 5-10 minutes
  • Macerate the cherry halves with the sugar, balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of liqueur
  • Cut slits into the skin side of the duck breast. Just deep enough to cut through the skin but not onto the meat.
  • Place skin side down on a baking dish. Bake in pre-heated oven 200ºC for 20 minutes. Turn halfway through baking.
  • Remove from oven. 
  • Sear the duck breast on a heated saucepan, skin side down for a couple of minutes. Do the same on the other side of the duck breast. Set aside and allow to cool.
  • Discard any excess oil in the saucepan, leaving about 1 tablespoon of the oil.
  • Fry the shallots in the oil. When the shallots turn translucent or if you smell the shallots cooking, add the macerated cherries. Stir to mix. Allow to cook till the cherries turn soft.
  • Add the rest of liqueur to the cherries/saucepan, turn the heat to simmer.
  • Scrape the saucepan for any drippings. When the sauce has reduced to a slightly thick consistency, turn the heat off.
  • Slice the duck breast before serving. Pour sauce over the duck breast after plating.


Served with sweet potato/potato mash, quick fry pak choi & carrots




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