Skillet Roasted Duck Breast with Italian Plums

The air has turned crisp.  Evening is setting in earlier and earlier.  Summer is behind us and fall has arrived.  Time to roast, time to braise, time to unpack the sweaters, time for earthy red wines.

Time for Duck!

Datenight Duck.  Beautifully seared and roasted duck breasts with sweet, herby roasted plums and red wine sauce.  Just like going to a restaurant except I’ll be in slippers.

Let’s gather our ingredients.

Plums, a shallot, a few sprigs from the garden.  Halve your plums, mince your shallots, chop the herbs, and score your duck breast.  We’ll be cooking in no time.

Let the duck skin get nice and cripsy, then flip and let it finish in the oven.  Look- aren’t you glad you scored that skin.

Plate the duck.  Make it look all restauranty.  Call your date to the table.  Realize that $6 bottle of red just won’t do.  Revel in your awesomeness.


Skillet Roasted Duck Breasts with Italian Plums
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled if you are cooking for a group. I serve the duck over frisee which offers a little bitterness to offset the sweetness of the plums as well as roasted fingerling potatoes.
Serves: 2
  • Duck Breasts (I used 1 large Magret breast which weighed in at almost 1 lb. Feel free to use 2 small breasts, if you prefer)
  • 6 Italian Plums
  • A Few Sprigs of Hearty Herbs (Sage & Rosemary are good choices)
  • 1 Small Shallot, Minced
  • ¼ c. Dry Red Wine
  • 1 T. Butter
  • Handful of Frisee
  • Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. If serving with potatoes, get these into the oven while you work on the duck. Toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Score the duck skin in a diamond pattern, taking care not to cut through the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Heat iron skillet (any oven-proof pan will do) and place duck skin-side down. Allow duck skin to become crisp and golden, about 8 minutes.
  4. While the duck is being seared, halve and pit the plums and mince the herbs.
  5. When the duck skin is appropriately golden, pour off most of the rendered fat (save this!), flip the duck, add the plums & herbs, season with salt and pepper and roast in oven until the duck is rosy and the plums are very juicy, about 8 minutes for medium-rare. Remove duck and plums, tent, and allow to rest on cutting board.
  6. Meanwhile, over medium-high heat, add minced shallots to pan juices and saute until translucent. Add red wine and allow to reduce by half. Turn off heat and finish sauce with butter and season as necessary. Thinly slice duck breast and fan over a mound of frisee and a few roasted potatoes. Top with roasted plums and spoon sauce over meat.


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