Seared Duck Breast with Bourbon Cherry Sauce is a crispy fat cap and juicy, tender meat all in one bite! I partnered up with my good friends at Buffalo Trace to take this duck to the next level with a Bourbon Cherry Sauce. What’s the main ingredient? Buffalo Trace of course! But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of bourbon left for sipping while we enjoy cooking over open flame. Have you ever cooked duck before? If not, now is the time!
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Seared Duck Breast
One of the most distinctive features of a duck breast has to be the fat on top of the duck breast. It’s incredible in the way that it’s pretty much the same depth across the top of the breast and is thick enough to add a ton of flavor, but not too much to overpower the protein.
One of my favorite ways to prep duck breast is to score the fat cap using a crosshatch technique because there are multiple benefits it provides. The first one being that it increases the surface area of the fat. This helps us render more fat when we actually go to cook the duck breast. Secondly, it allows for more flavor penetration to the protein. When scoring the duck breast, I don’t actually want to cut into the protein. Rather, I just want to slightly reveal it. As the duck breast cooks, these crosshatches will help absorb and hold flavor onto the meat. This makes each bite flavorful and delicious.
Bourbon Cherry Sauce
Every good superhero needs a kick butt sidekick. That’s exactly what this Bourbon Cherry Sauce is for our Seared Duck Breast. Y’all know I’m a sauce person and you also know I’m a bourbon person, so it just makes sense to put them both together for an epic sauce!
This Bourbon Cherry Sauce is made with sweet black cherries which pairs perfectly with the vanilla, oak and molasses flavors of the Buffalo Trace. I balanced some of that sweetness by adding sriracha, but overall the purpose of this sauce is to add some sweetness to the final dish. The sweetness of the sauce will help to cut through some of that salty fattiness we get from the seared duck breast.
How To Cook Seared Duck Breast Cooked and Bourbon Cherry Sauce
Cooking this recipe is pretty straight forward. Don’t we all love when delicious food is made via a simple process?! Yes. Yes, we do.
Start by placing your scored and seasoned duck breast in a cast iron skillet fat side down first. Leave the duck breast here to cook. It will render the fast cap, and also give us a really pretty, golden brown sear. Next, flip the duck breast and let it finish cooking. For duck, we want it to hit an internal temperature of 135F.
We’ll let the duck rest by removing it from the skillet after it hits the desired internal temperature. Next, clean out your skillet and place it back on the grill to make the Bourbon Cherry Sauce. This sauce starts with the Buffalo Trace. Pour that in first and let some of the alcohol cook out before adding all the other ingredients. After all ingredients are added, give the mixture a good stir. Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer together. Once it reaches a sauce-like consistency, remove it from the grill.
Seared Duck Breasts with Bourbon Cherry Sauce is Served
Now, our favorite part. The part where we get to enjoy this delicious Seared Duck Breast with Bourbon Cherry Sauce!
I placed each of my rested Seared Duck Breast on a cutting board and cut each one into slices. Then, I placed a couple spoonfuls of the Bourbon Cherry Sauce across each sliced duck breast. From here I garnished with sesame seeds and chopped scallions. That’s it! Serve it straight from the cutting board. Best enjoyed with friends and family. Cheers!
Seared Duck Breast with Bourbon Cherry Sauce is a delicious, sweet sauce on a savory slice of duck!
- 5 Whole Duck Breast
- 1.5 tbsp Bourbon Prime Seasoning
- Chopped Scallions for garnish
- Sesame Seeds for garnish
- 1 tbsp Canola Oil
- 2.5 tbsp Black Cherry Jelly
- 3 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
- 1 tbsp Black Garlic Sauce
- 1 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 2 tsp Sriracha Sauce
Begin by patting all of the duck breasts dry of excess oil. Next using a really sharp knife, score the fat side of the breast using a crosshatch pattern. Try to gently score so that you do not cut into the meat. Turn the duck breast over to the flesh side, lather with oil and season with my Bourbon Prime seasoning or your favorite steak seasoning. Set the duck aside until ready to cook.
Preheat a medium heat fire (around 300F) for direct grilling.
Add your duck breast, fat side down, to a cold cast iron skillet. Place the skillet over the fire and press firmly on each duck so that the fat sears evenly. Let the duck simmer fat side down for 12-15 minutes over medium heat until the fat is golden brown. Flip the duck breast over to the flesh side and cook for 1-2 minutes until the internal temperature is 135F for medium rare. Pull the duck off and let it rest for 5-7 minutes.
As the duck rests, strain and save the cooked duck fat and clean out the skillet. Add the skillet back to the fire and crank up the heat to medium high (375F). Deglaze the skillet with your Buffalo Trace Bourbon. Let simmer for 1 minute, then add the rest of the ingredients for the Bourbon Cherry Sauce. Let the sauce simmer until thickened (about 6-8 minutes). Make sure to stir frequently. Once the sauce is done, pull it off and let cool.
Slice your duck breast and top with the Bourbon Cherry Sauce. Top with sesame seeds and chopped scallions for garnish. Enjoy!
Derek Wolf is the owner of OvertheFireCooking.com, published cookbook author, expert live fire chef, and creator of multiple spice lines.