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Duck breasts with a fresh plum sauce recipe

roast duck breast with fresh plum sauceI spotted some large French duck breasts at Fred Fitzpatrick’s butcher’s shop on Saturday. As all his meat is excellent I bought a pack as a treat, feeling a bit guilty about the air miles. I was going to make our lazy duck in apricot sauce recipe but when I saw some large plump fresh plums in Tesco I changed my mind. I had to ignore the air miles yet again and resolved to bottle some of the local wild plums and bullaces in the autumn to use as sauces for duck and pork. They are tart and perfect for this recipe.

I decided to make a sauce without wine, which is my trusty assistant at the experimental stage of a new recipe. I was surprised that the plum sauce was fantastic without it. The duck fat gives it a sheen and softness that perfectly balances the fresh, tangy fruit flavour. The soy sauce is not discernable but is the secret ingredient. It adds depth and pizzazz.

This dish is quick and easy to make and perfect for a supper party or Saturday night treat. By roasting the duck breasts on a nest of plums, they remain succulent. The small ovenproof dish is the other essential element (ours is 17.5cm wide and 5cm deep). A roasting tray would not work because the plums need to sit under the duck and these would splay out and burn. I reckon that roasting a duck in a bag with the plums and other ingredients would also work well. Meanwhile, why not try this dish and wow your beloved.

Duck breasts with a fresh plum sauce recipe (for two with a decent amount of sauce)

Preheat oven to 220c (200c fan). Cook for fifteen minutes and then ruduce to 180c (160c fan) for 30-40 mins


  • 2 large duck breasts
  • 400g of ripe dark plums
  • 2 tbls of water
  • 2 tsp of soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Select a small ovenproof dish that will hold the sliced plums and the duck breasts snugly.

  1. Remove the stones from the plums and cut them into chunky slices. Lay these in the bottom of your dish.
    Add the water and soy sauce.
  2. Place the duck breasts on top of the plums. Skin side up so that it will brown.
  3. Put the dish in the centre of the oven to roast for 15 mins 220c (200c fan) and then for 30-40 mins at 180c (160c fan).
  4. When the breasts are browned and tender set them aside in a warm place and liquidise the sauce with a hand blender.

Runner beans were perfect with the dish. I had made mini roast potatoes but new potatoes would have been much better.

  Leave a reply


  1. Samphire man

    hi just to let you know I did this with bottled cherries and wild duck [yes I bottled the cherries ]it was great just gave it a slug of port as well!

  2. This sounds like the dish to do for my OH’s family birthday dinner. Did you use boned or bone-in breasts?

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Erin

    Great that you enjoyed this recipe. Thanks for dropping by.

    Hello Brian,

    Thanks for being polite about my recipe at least 🙂

  4. “are you stupid bryan??”

    Are you perhaps lacking a sense of irony, Tym? My post was a tongue-in-cheek comment on the ambiguity of the sentence I quoted, which grammatically means “cut the stones into chunky slices.”
    I can understand the 11 fingers you both have, though, in Dorset…
    And it’s “Brian”.
    The recipe remains excellent.

  5. tried this last night, absolutly yummy, yrt so easy, thank you so much

  6. are you stupid bryan?? its not hard to remove stones from plums, me and our five yr old done it for our duck and we both have all eleven fingers in tact!!!! tim in dorset

  7. “Remove the stones from the plums and cut them into chunky slices.”

    Well, I blunted three knives, and the hospital says I have to remain for another day just in case, but thanks anyway 😉

  8. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Colin

    Sorry I missed your comment. We have a great recipe for whole duck stuffed with plums here

    Hello Lauz

    Hope that it worked out for you.

    Hi Steve

    It’s easy and delicious – I agree. Tasty cooking needn’t be complicated.

    Hi Joe

    Thanks, that’s good to know.

    Hi Cat

    Great news that this worked out well for you!

    Hello Piper

    I do hope that it worked well for you.

  9. Will try this evening – as others have said, a lot of the other recipes out there are more complicated, this seems really simple. I’ll report back how it went!

    Many thanks.

  10. I love fresh, “home cooked food”, but really dislike cooking (having done a full roast goose dinner for six on one never to be repeated occasion). I had a friend round for dinner, and wanted to do something nice but quick and simple – stumbled across this recipe and one word: perfect. I bought 3 good quality duck breasts from a local butcher, stuck them and the plums in one small dish – from start to table in 45 mins and the washing up took about 2 mins max. Love it. and it’s way impressive for those who gasp, “The Cat? She cooks?!” I love duck with cherries as well so I intend to try out some of the other recipes on this site that don’t require eternity and massive amounts of faffing about. Can’t recommend it enough.

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