Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

Duck breasts with Calvados apple sauce recipe

Duck breasts with Calvados apple sauce recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Duck
  • Duck breast

Succulent duck breasts, butter, apples and calvados - just four ingredients make up this fabulous dish. I had my husband's seal of approval who could not wait to eat it while I was taking the picture. I think I'll do it again for Christmas.

23 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 4 duck breasts
  • 20g salted butter
  • 4 firm apples, sliced
  • 200ml Calvados

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:40min

  1. In a nonstick frying pan, add the breasts to the pan skin side down (no need to add any fat) and cook over high heat for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 more minutes on each side.
  2. Melt the salted butter in a separate frying pan on high heat, add the apples and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Reduce to low heat and cook the apples for 10 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to very low and deglaze the pan with Calvados. (Do not add the Calvados near a flame! Remove the pan from the cooker and add the Calvados away from any flame then return the pan to the cooker.)
  5. Serve the duck breasts immediately with the Calvados sauce.

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(5)

    • 1 lb Gala apples
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
    • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons Calvados
    1. Peel and core apples, then cut into 1-inch pieces. Bring apples, water, sugar, zest, and cinnamon to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes.
    2. Remove lid and simmer until most of liquid is evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes. Add Calvados and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Mash apples with a potato masher or a fork to a coarse sauce, then cool.

    What Apples to use to make Braised Duck Breasts with Apples and Onions Recipe?

    For these Braised Duck Breasts with Apples and Onions I used a Red Prince variety of Ontario Apples. It’s a great winter apple that is available February through June.

    I chose it because it has a tart and sweet flavour that is perfect for savoury dishes. It is also very crisp and turns into a beautiful silky sauce after a long braising time.

    If you haven’t tried Red Prince before, I urge you to try this not very common variety if you have a chance. Remember to look for a Foodland logo to make sure that you are purchasing Ontario apples. Here’s a great guide on how to use different variety of Ontario apples.


    Whisk together egg and milk. Roll out puff pastry sheets into 6 1/2 inch squares.

    Place about 1/4 cup compote in the center of each pastry sheet.

    Top with duck breast. Brush edges of pastry with egg wash. Mold the pastry around duck breast seal edges.

    Place seam side down in a lightly oiled baking dish. Brush tops and sides with egg wash.

    Cook in a 350°F. oven until puff pastry is a golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes or internal temperature reaches 155°F.

    Apple Gateau with Calvados Crème Sauce

    My Apple Gateau with Calvados Crème Sauce balances tart fruit with sweet creaminess against the delicate crumb of a perfectly baked cake. The French liqueur adds elegance that makes this a special occasion for any dinner. Plus, it’s simple to make.

    Apple Gateau with Calvados Crème Sauce. (All photos credit: George Graham)

    If you were to ask me why I love this Apple Gateau with Calvados Crème Sauce recipe, I would be quick to tell you that it’s easy. And for me, easy is good when it comes to baking. I’m not about to call myself an expert baker, or pastry maker of any acclaim for that matter. Baking is a chore for me.

    The exact science of baking challenges my right brain tendency for improvisation. I have a keen appreciation for pastry artisans who seem to sift through complicated recipes without hesitation. I, however, belabor the process while contemplating imminent failure. But, I do have a knack for seeing an opportunity when it comes along, and I am no amateur when it comes to seeing the potential of elevated ingredients.

    The Honeycrisp apples at Fresh Market were calling my name. I don’t often see Honeycrisps, but when I do it’s hard not to answer the call. I remembered the superb Calvados that was hidden in the back of my liquor cabinet and the perfect gateau was coming together in my mind. A well-aged, top shelf bottle is not cheap, but Calvados, the apple brandy from the French region of Normandy, is one of those versatile liqueurs that I use often in dishes, both sweet and savory. You can flambé and reduce it for a simple sauce over grilled duck breast or with brown sugar and sliced apples for a simple Apples Foster.

    Now - Serve plain or Add Sauces if Desired:

    Magret de Canard a l'Orange

    • 2 Duck Breast prepared as above
    • 2 Juice from oranges
    • 1 orange sliced and peeled
    • 3 tbsp sugar
    • 1/4 cup Cointreau
    • salt and pepper

    Magret de Canard with Cherry Reduction Sauce

    A cherry reduction sauce is perfect with duck. You can start making this sauce before you cook the duck.

    • 1 T butter
    • 1 T olive oil
    • ¼ cup shallots, minced
    • ¼ cup cherry preserves
    • 3 T sherry or red wine vinegar
    • ¼ cup Brandy
    • sea salt
    • freshly ground black pepper

    In a medium-size skillet, heat the oil and butter until they are sizzling. Add the minced shallots and sauté until they are just brown and almost caramelized. Remove to a plate and set aside.

    In the same pan turn down the heat to medium and add the cherry preserves, the vinegar and the brandy. Stir them thoroughly and gently simmer for about 5 minutes.

    Now return the cooked shallots to the pan and stir them into the cherry blend until they are completely reheated. Spoon directly on top of the prepared duck breast. Serve immediately.

    • 2 Tbsp. sugar
    • 3 Tbsp. butter
    • 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
    • 2 cups red wine
    • 2 lb. fresh cherries (about 4 cups), pitted Pinch ground cinnamon
    • 4 whole cloves
    • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 (1-lb.) boned moulard duck breast halves
    1. Melt sugar in 2 tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Increase heat to medium-high, add apples, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and browned, about 8 minutes. Add red wine and reduce for 4 minutes. Lower heat to medium, add 1 cup water, 3 cups cherries, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Crush cherries with a wooden spoon, then simmer mixture until liquid is reduced by half, 15–20 minutes.
    2. Strain sauce through a fine sieve, then return to skillet. Add remaining cherries and simmer over medium heat until sauce has reduced by a third, about 8 minutes more. Set sauce aside and keep warm.
    3. Meanwhile, score duck breasts by making crosshatch incisions through fat, then season on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large cast-iron skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Add duck breasts, fat side down, and cook until fat is rendered and skin is crisp, about 12 minutes. Turn and continue cooking for 6–8 minutes more. (It is best to pour off excess fat midway through the cooking process fat can be strained, stored in a sealed container, and reused 2–3 times to fry potatoes, mushrooms, or oeufs farcis à la périgourdine see Oeufs Farcis à la Périgourdine recipe.)
    4. Whisk remaining 1 tbsp. butter into sauce. Thinly slice duck, then divide between 4 plates. Spoon sauce over duck and serve.


    Gin Gimlet

    For the perfect at-home cocktail, look to the three-ingredient English classic.

    Crispy Duck Breast with Cider Sauce

    Duck is yummy. I’ll take it confit-ed, foie gras-ed, roasted, stir-fried and Peking-ed but there is one way that trumps them all, seared. When you sear duck breast skin-side down until most of the fat had rendered out leaving a super crispy skin and medium-rare juicy meat then serve it with a sauce that’s savory with just a hint of fruity acidity, you have something that is hands down one of the best foods in the world.
    It’s a funny thing about duck breast. If it were chicken, we be disgusted that its medium-rare, but it’s duck and we are not at all freaked out by it. Why? Well, duck is considered red meat even though it’s poultry. Because most of us eat it less than well done does not mean that there is zero chance that you can get sick from it though we’re just taking our chances. There seems to be a few reasons that it is a little safer though. First of all duck is not mass produced in large-scale farms in the same manner as chickens. I am not sure I believe all the hype that duck is free from all animal cruelty and squalid conditions that gives chicken such a bad wrap but I think there might be some truth in it too. Some also suggest that duck is processed differently, dipping the animal carcass in paraffin to help remove the feathers which helps prevent the spread of salmonella. I have heard this from more than one place and see people suggesting it online, although I cannot find any source to confirm or debunk it. I love my duck breast medium-rare though, so I’ll believe anything that helps me feel safer eating it. If you are very squeamish or conserned about the saftey of undercooked poultry than you may want to try duck prepared in a different way. Duck breast, when fully cooked, can take on a livery flavor which might spoil the meal for you. Duck legs, on the other hand, are at their best when cooked to well-done long and slow (if your lucky) in a vat of duck fat.
    My recipe is more about the sauce than how to get the duck cooked perfectly. I do include instructions on how to do it, but if you really want to learn the best practices to get the skin as crispy as possible then Hank Shaw is the man to show you how. He’s the guy behind the amazingly informative Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook blog, and he has a fantastic post on how to get your duck breast (domestic or wild) cooked perfectly. I heavily lean on his tips for the instructions of this recipe.

    But the sauce, oh my goodness the sauce. Reducing just a few simple ingredients down to a sauce that thick and silky is something that is as close as you can get to magic in the kitchen. It’s not a speedy recipe, but it also doesn’t require fancy ingredients like duck stock. I call for simple chicken broth and duck fat. You’ll have have the duck fat on hand after you cook the duck breasts, and the only other ingredient you might have to run to the store for is apple cider. (If you are out of shallots, use a quarter cup of thinly sliced onion and a clove of garlic). You can also use whatever herbs sound good to you. I would have thrown a couple juniper berries in if I had any on hand, so let your personal tastes guide your way on the seasonings.
    This recipe makes the final recipe in a menu for the perfect German-style October meal. Serving the duck breast with Braised Red Cabbage with Wine and Apples and Sweet Potato Spätzle make one fantastic meal that goes well with any Octoberfest style beer (or Pinot Noir). You can make the spätzle and the cabbage a day in advance and then the duck the day you are serving it and you will have a meal that everyone will remember. Enjoy!

    Recipe Summary

    • 1 (4 pound) whole duck
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
    • ½ tablespoon butter
    • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
    • 5 stalks celery, chopped
    • 3 cups peeled, cored and chopped apple
    • 3 cups cornbread crumbs
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil

    Rinse duck and pat dry rub with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning.

    Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and celery in butter until tender. In a medium bowl, combine with apple and cornbread crumbs. Mix together to make dressing (if necessary, add a little water to moisten).

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

    Fill the duck's cavity with dressing, and sew shut with kitchen twine. Rub outside of bird lightly with olive oil, and place in a shallow roasting pan or 9x13 inch baking dish.

    Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 80 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C.)

    Braised duck with cider apple sauce

    Forget duck a l’orange, this recipe for duck with cider apple sauce and an apple confit is delicious during the winter months and even on a cold April day in the UK. Duck meat can very easily become dry, so by cooking gently in an apple and cider sauce ensures the meat stays as moist as possible. Further fat renders from the duck throughout the cooking process, adding even more flavour to the sauce.

    This recipe is made in two parts: the duck with cider and apple sauce, and the apple confit. The latter can be made in advance and re-heated just before serving if needed. The recipe serves 2, served with steamed potatoes.

    Preparation time: 10 minutes

    Cooking time: 1 hour


    • 2 legs of duck
    • 275ml dry cider
    • 25g butter
    • 1 large onion
    • 1 Bramley apple
    • 2 Bay leaves
    • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
    • 1 tbsp creme fraiche
    • 2 tbsp Calvados (optional)
    • For the confit
    • 1 apple (e.g. Cox, Braeburn)
    • 2 shallots
    • 150ml dry cider
    • 25 cider vinegar
    • 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
    1. Core the apple and slice into eighths, peel the shallots and cut into quarters from the root. Add to a medium-sized saucepan with all the other confit ingredients.
    2. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down to a simmer, with the lid on until almost all of the liquid has disappeared.
    3. If made in advance, re-heat just before serving the duck.
    1. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a heavy based saucepan, over a medium-high heat. Add the duck legs and fry on either side for 5 – 10 minutes until brown and crisp.
    2. While the duck is cooking finely chop the onion and peel, core and dice the Bramley apple.
    3. Remove the duck legs from the pan, reserving the duck fat which will have rendered. Add the butter, once foaming add the onions and fry for 5 minutes on a low heat until softened.
    4. Then add the Bramley apple and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the cider and bring everything up to a gentle simmer.
    5. Nestle the duck back into the pan between the onion and apple pieces. Burry the Bay leaves and sprigs of thyme amongst the duck. Pop on a lid and cook gently on the lowest heat possible for an hour.
    6. Remove the duck legs from the pan and wrap in foil to keep warm, and discard the spent bay and thyme sprigs. Then, using the back of a ladle, push the remaining contents of the pan through a sieve, return to the pan and leave to reduce slightly. Add the creme fraiche and Calvados if using. Check for seasoning then serve with the duck and confit.

    Watch the video: Duck Breast with Glazed Apples. Food Channel L Recipes (January 2022).