Update:  Nancy over at Real Food, Allergy Free is hosting an Allergy Free Wed. Party and asked for my recipe for Duck Breasts In a Pomegranate Rosemary Sauce recipe - which is Dairy Free and Gluten Free.  What a great idea - to help spread recipes, knowledge and sharing through food.  Gluten Free recipes from many blogs are featured  - worth checking out -  so if you get a chance stop on by at:  Nancy's site Real Food, Allergy Free.
This is a dish I dedicate to my Mom.  Growing up, we were given the most incredible gift of having a Mom who was a Gourmet Cook. We ate many different foods, herbs, seasonings, and in particular many different kinds of meat. I can remember eating roast Quail when I was 12 years old.  This gave us an appreciation for delicious food. As well, it opened up our pallets at a young age, to a world of wonderful, savory, delicious food.  There was not one person in our family of eight that was a fussy eater.
I have never cooked Duck before, but I sure remember eating this most succulent meat.  I did do some research on the internet - and found a varied amount of information out there.  Some said:  place the meat in a cold pan and turn to low - then cook 10 minutes per side - turning twice.  Other sites said cook for 10 minutes on high heat, then bake in a high heat oven for 10 minutes.
I went to the middle ground:  Cook on medium heat, for 12 minutes, draining the extra renderings 3 times (drain into a bowl) . Turn over and cook for 5 more minutes, then place in a 400 degree oven for another 5 minutes.  It was perfection on a plate - so delicious!
2 wild Duck Breasts
2 shallots, minced
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
1 cup of Pomegranate Juice
1/4 cup Red Wine
1/2 cup of Chicken Stock
2 inch piece of fresh Rosemary
1 Bay Leaf
Salt and Pepper
Extra Chicken stock and Cornstarch to make a cornstarch slurry
Using Paper towel, blot the duck breasts to remove any excess moisture. With a sharp knife, slice the duck skin, not the meat, and season both sides with salt and pepper.
Pre-heat a cast iron pan on medium heat - about 3 minutes or so, then place the duck breasts into the pan skin side down.  It will take a couple of minutes before you hear the pan sizzle.
Once you hear the duck breast sizzle, then start the clock.  During the cooking time, I drained off the excess duck renderings three times into a bowl (save those drippings, once strained they are great for frying potatoes).  Cook for 12 minutes, then flip over.  You want to get a really good crispy skin.  Cook for another five minutes, and during this time, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the pan into the oven and cook for another five minutes.  Transfer the duck breasts to a platter and cover with foil to rest - 10 minutes.
If there is excess renderings in the pan, drain once more to your bowl.
Place the pan on low medium heat and add in the shallot and garlic. Saute until fragrant. Then pour in the Pomegranate juice, Red wine, chicken stock, whisking to combine and scraping up any brown bits.  Season with salt and pepper and add in the Fresh Rosemary and Bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for five minutes. Drain the platter with the duck breasts of any juices into the pan sauce and recover with foil until ready to serve.
Continue to simmer for another minute or two. Remove the Bay Leaf and the Rosemary stalk from the pan. Slowly add in the cornstarch slurry, whisking to thicken. Pour over the duck breasts and serve the extra gravy over steamed potatoes.

Ina Gawne


  1. You are working the pomegranates lately, Ina--love it! And what a sweet tribute to your mom, too! 🙂 I also grew up eating quail, dove, etc., but that was because my dad is a hunter. 😉 This looks and sounds amazing. Will share on my gfe FB page! 🙂
    Hugs and Happy Friday,

    1. Janet - you must try - super delicious! Then save the excess renderings - makes killer fried potatoes. Worth the once in a while indulgence 🙂

    1. Thanks Tessa! I found mine in the freezer section of the grocery store - the first time I have seen it. Sure makes for a nice change in dinner!

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March 8, 2012