Sweet and Sour Duck Breasts with Prunes

5:31 am on 8 December 2007


  • 8 single duck breasts, skin cut in a crisscross pattern down to the flesh
  • 1 ½  cups halved pitted prunes
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 75 g prosciutto, chopped
  • ½  teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • ½  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼  teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 10 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for frying
  • 50 mls grappa or brandy
  • 100 mls Vin Santo or other light dessert wine
  • 200 mls dry white wine
  • 250 ml beef stock ( I use Essentail Cuisine Classic Beef Jus)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • parsley for sprinkling


Put the duck breast, prunes, zest, prosciutto, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, sage, bay, olive oil, grappa, Vin Santo and wine into a large non reactive bowl, mix well, cover and set aside, (this can be done up to 1 day in advance).

Take the duck out of its marinade and heat a frying pan over moderate heat and fry the duck 8 minutes on the skin side and 4 minutes on the flesh side until well browned.

Remove the duck from the pan and keep warm.

Pour the duck fat from the pan and add the marinade and the stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Boil until slightly syrupy, add the duck and any juices from the duck. Add the butter, mix well, taste and season.

Good with steamed rice, or potatoes and a green vegetable.

Serves 6-8.

John Hawkeby's Wine Suggestions

Pinot Noir

  • Blind River 2006
  • Judge Rock 2006
  • Surveyor Thompson 2005


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