It all started when I had a few minutes to kill before heading out of the house for an appointment. I flicked on the T.V. (which is almost always set for the Food Network) and on came Rachael Ray whipping up a romantic dinner for two in 30 minutes. She was making duck.

My husband loves duck and I have on two occasions roasted him duck out of love and devotion. I can vividly recall both times with the same clarity as one would recall a similarly pleasant experience like, say, an I.R.S. tax audit.

There was a lot of pricking of duck skin involved. Out of a three pound duck there was approximately 8 quarts of fat expelled, my oven caught on fire (not that unusual of an occurrence in my house unfortunately, but STILL!) and I spent about an hour and a half preparing a very complex sauce. It also cost me a small fortune as I had to purchase costly ingredients that I never found other uses for. I don’t have the recipe anymore; I think I burned it in the inferno my oven became.

So I was intrigued by Ms. Ray’s method – duck breasts cooked stove top. That sounded doable. And as the hubby’s and my anniversary was coming up, I decided to give it a test run while he was still out of town (just in case I lit my stove top on fire).

I found her method easy but the breasts came out just a touch overdone. So I reduced the cooking time by a couple minutes and voilà! Perfectly cooked duck in under 30 minutes (sorry, couldn’t resist). The orange sauce she made didn’t sound appealing so I concocted an insanely easy cherry balsamic sauce (so good!) and I even whipped up a wonderful dried cherry rice pilaf to go along with it.

For the rice pilaf just make two servings of whatever rice you like – I used instant (don’t judge me!). Substitute gluten free chicken stock for the water and add a handful of chopped dried cherries in with the chicken stock as you bring it to a boil. Cook rice per directions but omit salt until after it is all cooked then add for taste. The chicken stock will have some salt in it. Toast up a handful of slivered almonds in a dry pan for about 2 -3 minutes until toasty and light brown. Add the toasted almonds to the rice after it is cooked and fluff with a fork.

This is definitely a meal to share with someone you love and you will even have energy to prove that love after making it!

Gluten Free Duck Breast with Cherry Balsamic Sauce & Dried Cherry Rice Pilaf Recipe


2 duck breasts
2 tablespoons butter – use divided
1 (15 ounce) can Bing cherries in syrup
¼ cup balsamic vinegar


Rub a cold skillet with 1 tablespoon of cold butter. Lightly score the duck breasts through the skin only in a cross-hatch pattern. Season breasts with salt and pepper on both sides and place in cold skillet, skin sides down. Turn heat to medium/medium-high and cook until crispy, about 13 minutes. Drain off most of the fat and discard. Turn breasts over and cook for another 2 minutes.

While breasts are cooking, put the cherries and their juices into a sauce pan and add the balsamic vinegar, a small pinch of salt and a large pinch of pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the juices have reduced down to an almost syrup-like consistency and the cherries are starting to break apart. About 15 minutes. Take off heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of cold butter to finish the sauce. Serve sauce with duck breast and rice pilaf.


Serves 2

Ready for dessert?

Simply...Gluten-Free DessertsSimply…Gluten-Free Desserts is now available, with over 135 recipes not featured in my blog.

Available at bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powells, Books-a-Million and Amazon. You can get it also HERE.

“I can now have recipes I know I can count on for every Dessert and Breakfast occasion! I’m thrilled!” – A. M.

“I am amazed! This recipe is BETTER than the ‘regular-with-gluten’ recipe! Thanks so much, Carol” – V. P.

“I love your gluten free recipes – I can now have my desserts.” – F.R.

Need a quick meal?

Gluten Free Recipes - Simply Gluten Free Quick MealsSimply…Gluten-Free Quick Meals is now available, with over 100 recipes not featured in my blog.

Available at bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powells, Books-a-Million and Amazon. You can get it also HERE.

“The “Simply” in ‘Simply … Gluten-Free Quick Meals’ doesn’t just make for a catchy title. The recipes in this cookbook truly are quick and easy to prepare. – A. C.

“I set the timer on two separate nights and made two complete meals from Carol’s latest cookbook in 30-40 minutes. They not only pleased my family, but gave me new recipes and techniques to get dinner on the table faster every night.” – W. K.

“I love the way this book is laid out – full meals I can make in no time. Love the sense of fun and humor in this book but mostly I love all the gluten free recipes -.” – J. F.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owners. This blog accepts free manufacturers samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

Print RecipePrint Recipe Print Recipe Print Recipe

Categories:    Main Dishes

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Peter G February 20, 2008 at 8:53 pm

Hey Carol! I’m not a big fan of duck myself, but that looks like a great dish. A great combination with the cherries and balsamic!


Mansi Desai February 21, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Duck seems to be a favorite for quite a few pwople! hope you had a romantic dinner Carol:) looks great!


Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post: Gluten Free Tuscan Chicken and White Beans Recipe

Next post: Gluten Free Minted Pea Soup Recipe