The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

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. We have just cooked some duck this way, but using bottled plums, and I have to report that it works very well, albeit with the cooking time reduced a little to allow for the plums not needing to be cooked.

  2. Just finished eating it and it was delicious and so easy to cook. Think I have built up a considerable amount of brownie points from the wife! Many thanks.

  3. I was just after an easy recipe with exactly duck breast and plums – and yours came up first on the search engine! How perfect – simple with no fancy ingredients, which I am not likely to have. Am going to try this in about an hour’s time for post Valentine’s Sunday dinner.

  4. Tried this last night and it was divine.
    Thank you for your all fabulous ideas.
    Can you help me with roasting a whole duck. I am a novice in the kitchen!!

  5. Danny Carey

    Hi, Anna, and thank you for your comment.
    I’m sure that stuffing the cavity with plums would work quite well. I would guess that they cook easily and should turn into the lovely mushiness you need for a good sauce.
    Do please let us know how it turned out.

  6. Hi

    I like the look of your recipe, but I have a whole duck and a lot of plums. Do you think it would work if I stuffed the duck with plums, then use them to make the sauce?

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Charlotte

    Thanks for dropping by with some positive feedback. This is such an easy recipe and tastes as if you have made an enormous effort.

  8. charlotte broadie

    i have just finished eating it, and wanted to say thanks. it was lovely! i onyl had 4 plums but it worked just as well. i was looking at lots of recipes and they all needed the duck marinading for hours so i thought id give yours a go as it was quick and i had the ingredients.
    will definitely use it again

  9. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Allen

    We mix up the fat with the plumbs and juice. Delicious. You could remove the fat and it would still be good.

  10. Allen Harris

    sounds really nice and simple but do you drain off the fat from the duck or blend it in with the plums. many thanks allen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.

2,259,625 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments

Copyright © 2006-2024 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder

Skip to toolbar