Grilled Duck Breasts With Dried Cherry-Zinfandel Sauce

"DH and I made this grilled duck breast recipe for dinner a few nights ago and enjoyed it very much. It is quite easy and since it is on the grill, it required less cleanup than usual. While we prefer the recipe I posted for seared duck with cherry port sauce, we did not have the demi-glace that the recipe calls for, so this was a nice substitution. We ended up running out of propane during grilling and had to finish the duck under the broiler. This worked fine. We served it with roasted asparagus. The recipe is from the Williams-Sonoma "Grilling" cookbook. Note: the recipe states that you can vary this recipe by pairing dried cranberries with Pinot Noir (instead of cherries with Zinfandel), dried peaches or apricots with Riesling or Gewurztraminer, dried pears with Sauvignon Blanc, or dried apples with Chardonnay."
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Ready In:




  • Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over medium heat.
  • To make the spice rub: in a small bowl, mix together the ginger, five-spice powder, white pepper and salt. Sprinkle generously on both sides of the duck breasts and rub into the breasts.
  • To make the sauce: in a saucepan, combine the stock, wine, dried cherries, soy sauce, and corn syrup. Cook over high heat, stirring often, until reduced by about half, 7-10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook over medium heat for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, to thicken the sauce. Set aside and keep warm.
  • Place the duck breasts, skin side down, on the grill, directly over medium heat. Cover the grill and cook until the duck is well-browned on the bottom side, 7-10 minutes, checking occasionally for flare-ups and moving the duck to a cooler part of the grill if needed.
  • Turn and grill for 5 minutes more.
  • Check for doneness by cutting into a breast or testing with an instant-read thermometer. Duck breasts should be cooked medium rare to medium, still pink at the center, or until an instant read thermometer registers 135 to 140 degrees F. Continue to cook as needed.
  • Transfer to a platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes. To serve, slice each duck breast on the diagonal and spoon the sauce over the slices.

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  1. Great recipe!! Made with Pinot Noir instead of Zin. The sweetness of the cherries makes the flavor pop!


I work full-time as a School Psychologist in Michigan. Besides the kids, one of the best aspects of the job is summer vacation, when I can concentrate on doing more of the things that I like to do---like look up recipes and play games on Recipezaar!!! I married my wonderful and handsome husband, Sean, in August 2007. He is becoming a wonderful gardender and tends to both our veggie and herb gardens. We really enjoy cooking with our own fresh ingredients. We most often cook together, so my reviews typically reflect our joint opinions. He's the better cook, so I pick up a lot of my techniques from him. My other interests include reading (now that I have time), Irish dancing (I've taken a class for the last several years), "appreciating" wine (I use the term very loosely), and listening to and going to see Irish bands (I love the Pogues). I also enjoy travelling, especially around Western Europe, where I have been multiple times. One of my favorite places is Italy, and Sean and I had a great time on our honeymoon eating, drinking, and sightseeing in the Cinque Terre and in Tuscany. This July 2009, we expanded our horizons to Eastern Europe and visited the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Croatia. Two of my favorite dishes on the trip were Croatian: fish brodet and Hvarska gregada. I am looking forward to trying my hand at making them at home as I see that someone on Zaar, who is Croatian, posted recipes for both! Besides my husband, the other lights of my life are my cats: Chloe, Pip, and my newest ragdoll cat, Giselle, all of whom I absolutely adore. <a href="¤t=PipChloe_web.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Pip and Chloe"></a> <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Giselle"></a> I've participated in the following events: <img src="" border="0" alt= "Photobucket"> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> I most recently had the privelege of being on the ZWT5 Team, the Sultans of Spice, with a great group of people. We came in second place! <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src=>
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