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Seared Duck Breasts with peaches on a white dinner plate

Seared Duck Breasts with Fresh Peaches

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Seared Duck Breasts with Fresh Peaches is an elegant, restaurant worthy entree that will thrill all the duck fans you know!

This seared then roasted duck breast recipe is the starting point for numerous other versions! Take this technique and add your favorite fruits and seasonings!

Seared Duck Breasts with peaches and thyme on a white dinner plate

Seared Duck Breasts with Fresh Peaches

I began cooking this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe with optimism. The hubby likes duck. The hubby likes peaches. I was hopeful Dorie would be in his good graces again…last month was a bust, in his opinion. Wheatberries…uh, no. Cherry clafoutis…no, we only drink our cherries in Koolaid. Swordfish? Heaven forbid. And dieter’s tartine? No way I could disguise the dreaded cucumbers.

But he does like duck…a lot. And Ms. Greenspan provided us with a duck recipe layered with a multitude of flavors: thyme, garlic, honey, ruby port, vinegars and butter. I think we have a winner with these Seared Duck Breasts with Fresh Peaches!

Seared Duck Breasts with peaches overhead view on white dinner plates with a checked napkin
How to Make Seared Duck Breasts at Home

  • This elegant entree took less than an hour from the pan to the table. Not bad for a gourmet entree!
  • The toughest chore was finding a knife sharp enough to score the duck fat…but once that was done, it was smooth sailing.
  • The duck breasts were seared in a hot pan, fat side down, for 8 minutes, then flipped for 3 more. They were popped in a warm oven while he peach halves partied in the sauté pan in a tablespoon of the duck fat with a few garlic cloves and a sprig of thyme.  
  • A quick, gourmet pan sauce was made after removing the peaches by  bringing a mixture of honey, port, balsamic vinegar, champagne vinegar and any collected duck juices to a gentle simmer.
  • Finished off with a wee bit of butter, it was the perfect foil to the duck and peaches. To quote Bill (even though he has forbidden me to do so), “Dorie has finally redeemed herself.” He adored this dinner! We all did.

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Seared Duck Breasts with Peaches on a white dinner plate with a sprig of fresh thyme


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Seared Duck Breasts with peaches on a white dinner plate

Seared Duck Breasts with Fresh Peaches

An elegant, restaurant worthy duck recipe you can easily make at home!

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree, Poultry, Duck
  • Method: Searing, Roasting, Simmering
  • Cuisine: French


  • 2 large or 4 small duck breasts (2 pounds total), at room temperature
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed, but not peeled
  • 4 ripe, but firm peaches, peeled, halved with pits removed
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons ruby port
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 3 or 4 pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 250º.
  2. With a sharp knife score the duck skin and into the fat with a criss cross pattern. Do not cut into the meat. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. When pan is hot, place duck breasts in pan skin side down. Cook for about 8 minutes till skin is brown and crispy. Turn breasts over and cook another 3 minutes for very rare and 2 minutes longer if you’d like them a little more done.
  4. Remove breasts from pan and onto a sheet pan. Tent with foil and place in oven for 5 more minutes.
  5. To make sauce, pour off all but one tablespoon of fat from the pan. Turn burner to medium heat and add garlic and thyme. Stir then lower the heat, add peaches and toss to coat. Cook for about 5 minutes till lightly browned. Remove to a plate and discard fat in pan.
  6. With burner on low, add honey to pan and cook for a minute. Add vinegars and port and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and vigorously whisk in butter, one piece at a time, till a smooth sauce forms. Add any juices from the duck breast to the sauce and whisk to incorporate. Add duck breasts back to pan and coat with sauce.
  7. Slice duck breasts and serve with sauce and peaches.


Recipe from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan

Details of this recipe can be found in Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan or viewed here at Google Books.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links; view my Disclosure Policy for details. I earn a small percentage from any purchase you make by clicking on these links at no extra cost to you.

46 comments on “Seared Duck Breasts with Fresh Peaches”

  1. Wow – that’s high praise from Bill indeed! Nice presentation. Sigh. I had some challenges of my own this week..

  2. My mouth’s watering while reading your description on how to cook that duck! Looks amazing and delicious!

  3. Love your stories about Bill and your family, Liz. Yes, indeed, you have hit the bull’s eye. But then again, you always do =)

  4. I’m glad our FFwD selections have turned around for Bill. Eduardo was especially happy to see me grab the book again last night after letting it gather a wee bit of dust. Your duck breast looks lovely.

  5. It does look gorgeous and very appetizing! So glad that you finally return to a winning recipe after a whole month of meh’s. Love the way you presented some peach halves and slices fanned out.

  6. It looks so sophisticated on your plate Liz, perfectly arranged! I´m impressed you had a partner in crime for this one. I want fresh peaches to come back asap!

  7. That’s so funny! My husband forbids me from quoting him as well, but I pay no attention 🙂
    I skipped this week’s recipe and after reading everyone’s posts I’m regretting it!
    Love your presentation.

  8. WOAH Liz! I only made duck once and it was an epic fail, you just made me want to make it again!

  9. Wow, Liz, this looks incredible! I’m inspired to try duck (I LOVE it!) and what could be better than it paired with fresh peaches? Yum!!!

  10. Peaches on duck? Looks amazing and very curious to try!

  11. Oh wow Liz. Your pictures are making me drool!

  12. I’ve had duck with other fruits before but not peaches, now I must try this! Plus my jar of duck fat is running a little low. Always an excuse to make some. 🙂

  13. So exotic and drool-worthy!! Lovely photos, Liz 🙂

  14. Look deliciious with peaches, many times I dont eat duck!

  15. Ooh, the honey with all the herbs sounds delicious!

  16. Hoorah! Bill finally eats. I would love this dish. I love duck! And it goes so well with peaches and I think the acidity of the champagne vinegar would cut through the duck fat beautifully. What a great dish xx

  17. I sliced this up but there is something sort hypnotic about that crispy duck skin there that I really like. Lol at that comment above: “Bill finally eats!” That has me smiling!

  18. Hooray! You have scored a win with hubby. I thought this was pretty good too, despite not being a duck fan.

  19. This one was a winner with my Bill, too! We both really enjoyed it. Your photos are lovely Liz, great presentation! Have a great weekend!

  20. Sure does look good, Liz! I haven’t had duck in ages. Just curious, does Dorie request Long Island Duck?

    • Hi, Louise, Dorie’s instructions were “2 large duck breasts, preferably from a Moulard, or 4 small duck breasts (about 2 pounds total). Have a great weekend!

  21. Wow this looks so elegant! Beautiful presentation 🙂

  22. You explained this process perfectly. Was the 8 minutes on the skin side too long, do you think? I did 8/and then flipped for 5 because I didn’t think it was cooked long enough. I love rare but rare is rare. However, I left it in the oven longer than Dorie anticipated (I operate slowly) and I wish I’d gone for the 3 minutes that you did. This was a simple recipe for me also, Liz. I think I am really learning from my 2 years in FFWD. I sharpened the hell out of my knife before attacking the skin and had no trouble. Of course, your crosscuts were fantastic and you get an A-plus in “fanning” – (notice I had no picture of fanning) but I was as pleased with the results as Bill? It’s thinking about Fall in Aspen so I hope you have some vacation plans in mind. It’s been a good week for me here. Thanks for your kind thoughts.

  23. I really enjoy your family stories, so homey. I’ve always admired the marks on the duck, which you’ve mastered. Looks like a nice meal.

  24. WOW!!
    The skin on your duck looks so delicious and crispy, I wish I was there to take a lovely big bite. I quite like matching savoury dishes with fruits so this sounds really nice to me 🙂

  25. And now I’m craving duck. I haven’t had duck confit in such a long time. 🙁

  26. wow Look at the crispy skin!! My mouth is watering….

  27. You’re cracking me up with your husband’s food dislikes. He only drinks his cherries in kool-aid? LOL Beautiful dish.

  28. Yay!! I love that Bill loved this one!! It looks perfect and I can see why. 🙂

  29. I love duck but never make it because my husband hates it. This recipe sounds so simple I could make it for myself while I prepare something else for my hubby.

    Thanks for sharing your input. I’ll definitely check out this recipe.

  30. Liz, that is one gorgeous plate of duck breast and peaches! A definite winner. Isn’t it great when you find something you both agree on.

  31. this looks so scrumptious!!! Love everything about it 🙂

  32. Looks like a very fancy-schmancy dinner and I love that it comes together so quickly. You certainly could have fool me! 🙂

  33. I’m glad Dorie was finally redeemed at your house, at least from Bill’s perspective. I’m sure she never fell in your estimation. It looks like a lovely dinner. We enjoyed it as well.

  34. This is definitely a winner. don’t eat duck often which is why I consider it so special. And the flavors in this look fabulous!

  35. Your presentation is beautiful and that pan sauce sounds incredible!

  36. Liz, this looks like such an elegant meal – I love duck and the combination of sweet and savory in this recipe is very appealing – since we were “out of the country” for a bit, I did not get to make this dish, but there is “make-up” week this Friday, I am sure that I will get a chance to make this lovely dish.
    Have a nice Sunday!

  37. There is nothing my father-in-law loves more than a well cooked duck breast. I’ll make this for him this week and he’ll love me even more. 🙂

  38. Love duck but we have never made it at home… Think we are a little intimidated by it… Looks wonderful

  39. Woo-hoo the Mr loved it! Great flavor combo and beautiful presentation.

  40. Whew – glad this one passed the test.
    Gorgeous dish 🙂

  41. I love that “Dorie has redeemed herself!” 🙂 Hehe Bill!

  42. Your duck is perfection and so are your peaches… so glad the hubby liked this one. I’m pretty lucky mine will eat anything but seaweed (says it smells like low tide while cooking).

  43. I agree with Bill, this is a keeper duck recipe. The peaches really make it a wonderful duck recipe! Dorie’s recipes are so delicious, and you honor her in your kitchen Liz!


  44. Oh this dinner looks fabulous. I had one bad experience with duck in my oven where fat coated everything. I swore never to make it again at home. This might just make me turn the corner and try again.

  45. Lizzy,
    My hubby likes duck too. He would love this.

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