Duck breast, port & cherry sauce

by Roopa Gulati

A stylish main course from demo chef Roopa Gulati

The tender fried duck breasts are matched with port and cherry juice and spiked with a hint of spice.


225ml port
225ml chicken stock
1 star anise
1 x 4cm stick cinnamon
1 strip of pared orange zest
400g cherries, pitted
4 free range duck breasts, skin on
1 tsp softened butter


Simmer the port and chicken stock with the star anise, cinnamon and orange zest until reduced by three-quarters. Skim any impurities from the surface.

Add a quarter of the cherries and continue cooking for about 2-3 mins, until slightly softened. Scoop them out and leave on one side and discard the star anise, cinnamon and orange zest.

Put the remaining cherries into a liquidiser and pour over the reduced port-stock. Process until smooth and seive to remove any skins.

Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Score the skin of the duck breast with a sharp knife, taking care not to cut into the flesh, and season with plenty of salt.

Heat a sturdy ovenproof frying pan over a moderate heat and cook the duck, skin-side facing downwards, for about 10 mins, until golden.

Turn the duck breasts over and fry for another 30 secs before transferring the pan to the oven to finish cooking for about 4-5 mins. The skin should be a deep golden colour, and the juices run a faint pink when pierced with a knife.

Remove the duck from the pan and leave to rest for 10 mins before slicing.

Heat the cherry sauce, then whisk in the butter and add the reserved softened cherries.

Arrange the duck on 4 plates and serve with the cherry sauce and buttered green vegetables or a leafy green salad.

Recipe: Roopa Gulati