January 26, 2022

Recipe: Crispy Seared Duck Breast With Blueberry Balsamic Sauce

Ready in 45 minutes, this dish will simply amaze you

Roasted duck with blueberry sauce

If you’ve never made duck breasts, you’ll be amazed how quick and easy this recipe is. The fruitiness of the blueberry sauce works wonderfully with the rich, crisp duck skin. Serve with asparagus, broccolini or green beans drizzled with olive oil, or use the extra rendered duck fat on the veggies. Ask for mild-flavored Peking duck at your market’s butcher counter.


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy


For the duck breast:
4 (6-ounce) duck breasts
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped (2 tablespoons)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups frozen blueberries, thawed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme leaves
1 tablespoon rendered duck fat (what’s left at the bottom of the pan once the duck is cooked)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Heat a large, well-seasoned cast-iron skillet or a heavy, ovenproof stainless steel pan over medium heat until hot, then turn down to medium-low to sear the duck. While the pan is heating, prepare the duck breast.
  2. Open the duck breast packages over the sink to drain any juices. Place the duck breasts skin side up on a cutting board. Blot any excess moisture from the skin with paper towels. Turn the duck over and trim any excess skin that is beyond the edges of the breast. Turn the duck over again, and with a sharp knife, create a diamond pattern in the duck skin. Slice through the skin, but not into the meat, at about 1/4-inch intervals.
  3. When the duck breasts are sliced, season them with the salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Place the breasts skin side down in the hot pan. They should sizzle as they hit the pan surface. Sear the duck skin until crisp and brown, 6 to 8 minutes. You want a deep golden brown color, but watch for burning. If they start to get dark too quickly, turn the heat down. Searing slowly renders out the fat and crisps the skin.
  4. While the duck is searing, make the sauce (but keep your eye on the duck; peek underneath occasionally to check the color and crispness). Heat the olive oil in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and cook 30 seconds longer. Add the blueberries, vinegar and thyme and turn the heat up to medium. Cook the blueberries, stirring, until a juicy sauce starts to form and the vinegar cooks down, 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. When the duck skin is nicely seared to a golden brown, turn the breasts skin side up and place the pan in the preheated oven for 3 to 6 minutes. Timing will depend on the thickness of the duck breasts. Six-ounce breasts will take about 6 minutes; smaller ones will finish faster. Duck breasts should reach an internal temperature of 160 F when measured with a digital thermometer. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the meat to rest for a few minutes before slicing.
  6. Slice the duck breasts crosswise into thin slices. Properly cooked duck will still be pink in the middle. Remove 1 tablespoon of the rendered duck fat from the pan and stir it into the blueberry sauce for added richness. Serve 1 sliced duck breast, with 2 tablespoons of sauce, per person.

Nutrition information (per serving)

Makes 4 servings


Calories: 370
Fat: 24 g
Saturated fat: 6 g
Cholesterol: 180 mg
Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 32 g
Carbohydrate: 8 g
Sodium: 260 mg

— Recipe courtesy of Mark Hyman, MD.

Related Articles

Flaxseed sprinkled on a salad in a white bowl on a dark wooden table
January 31, 2024
Flaxseed: A Little Seed With Big Health Benefits

Ground flaxseed is full of heart-healthy omega-3s, antioxidants and fiber, and easy to add to just about any recipe

Meal prepping various dishes for snack, lunch and dinner
January 29, 2024
75 Healthy Meal Prep Ideas for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

No more scrambling to figure out what to eat during your busy week

Shepherd's pie casserole in cast iron pan
January 26, 2024
10 Healthy Casserole Recipes To Try

Whether as a main dish, a side or even a dessert, casseroles are the ultimate comfort food

falafel on plate with spoons of sauce
December 17, 2023
Recipe: Falafel With Zesty Yogurt Sauce

A delicious dish alone, atop field greens or in a pita pocket stuffed with veggies!

Roasted Beets with Balsamic Vinegar and Herbs
December 4, 2023
Recipe: Roasted Beets With Balsamic Vinegar and Herbs

This colorful side dish will tantalize your taste buds

apple stuffing
November 15, 2023
Recipe: Apple Stuffing

A sweet twist on this holiday dish, complete with fiber and antioxidants

A piece of shepherd's pie on a plate that has mashed potatoes, vegetables and meat
October 18, 2023
Recipe: Shepherd’s Pie With Beef

This healthier version offers all you’d expect from this hearty dish

Chickpea spinach pancakes displayed on a plate with the angle from above.
September 11, 2023
Recipe: Savory Chickpea and Spinach Pancakes

Yes, pancakes for dinner!

Trending Topics

glass of cherry juice with cherries on table
Sleepy Girl Mocktail: What’s in It and Does It Really Make You Sleep Better?

This social media sleep hack with tart cherry juice and magnesium could be worth a try

Exercise and diet over three months is hard to accomplish.
Everything You Need To Know About the 75 Hard Challenge

Following five critical rules daily for 75 days may not be sustainable

Person in foreground standing in front of many presents with person in background holding gift bags.
What Is Love Bombing?

This form of psychological and emotional abuse is often disguised as excessive flattery