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

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


This Gluten Free Duck Breast with Cherry Balsamic Sauce & Dried Cherry Rice Pilaf Recipe serves 2

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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!


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