Magret de Canard aux Figues


Back in the day when children ate as they were told (“What, you don’t like prunes?!  Here’s two more and I’d better see a smile on your face!”), my grandmother had a fig tree. She loved figs!  I would dread those days when we were visiting and there were ripe figs on the tree.  She was so pleased to share a big bowl with the children.


I could not bear the red maw and tiny seeds of that alien fruit!  I even thought that Fig Newton cookies were a cruel and vicious joke played on innocent, unsuspecting children by sick, sick people.


But, you ate as you were told if you wanted to live long enough until you could get out, get a job, buy and cook your own food.  Today as an adult with children, that seems fair to me.  Anyway, most things you hated as a child you end up liking as an adult.  Like figs.  If not, you’re old enough to kill the taste with alcohol.


I found these attractive babies at the Fresh Paradise market  Saturday mornings are unbelievably jammed with restaurants picking up supplies for the weekend. Like the farmer’s market, you need to get there early before all the best, pretty things are gone.  People are so selfish 😀


I didn’t have any port for the fig sauce but I did have an Amontillado sherry.  I always liked that Poe story and Amontillado sounded so chic!  Anyway.

Magret de Canard aux Figues

2 duck breasts, fat scored

1 packet vanilla sugar

Balsamic vinegar

8 figs, quartered

1 cup Amontillado sherry

4 sprigs fresh thyme

Sprinkle the duck breasts with the sugar and some vinegar and set aside for an hour.  Pour the sherry over the figs and thyme, then soak for 30 minutes.

Sear the duck breasts in a hot skillet, fat side down for 6 minutes, turn and continue cooking for another 6 minutes.  Remove the breasts from the pan and allow to rest on a cutting board.  Pour the fat from the pan.

Strain the sherry from the figs and add to the de-fatted skillet, bring to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced by half.  Add the figs and cook for 3-5 minutes.

Slice the breasts and serve with the figs.

Wine suggestion:  Cabernet Sauvignon

About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
This entry was posted in Cooking, Food and Wine, French, Fruit, Main dishes, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Magret de Canard aux Figues

  1. God, those figs look good. I’m thinking of summer:)

  2. Crumbs that looks wonderful 🙂 the duck looks perfectly cooked, some lovely flavours

  3. Mad Dog says:

    I love duck – I just had some smoked for lunch and there’s peppered duck breast for supper 😉

  4. I adore figs, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t, trouble is they are so hard for me to get a hold of. Delightful with duck and yours looks perfectly pink.

  5. Michelle says:

    Funny. With beautiful food. Just another day in Sens… oops, I meant Germany.

  6. Mmmmmmm duck and figs…

  7. a very good recipe. thanks for sharing

  8. Sam says:

    I’ve just gotten into figs again but didn’t think to put it with duck! How delicious!

  9. The figs on my tree are just starting to come in. I will have to try this recipe when they are ready. I can hardly wait!

  10. Such an interesting combination. I’d never considered these together!

  11. Tessa says:

    Beautiful dish. As a child, I believed that Fig Newtons were a punishment and not a snack. Fortunately, I think differently now… Lovely combination of flavors!

  12. rsmacaalay says:

    I wish I can find fresh figs here, I only see preserved ones. That looks so good with the duck.

  13. oh i just adore figs…this looks so beautiful, i will have to make this next time i get some fresh figs… lovely post..sarah

  14. Figs and duck, always a wonderful combination, and this looks delicious!

  15. Mona says:

    I love figs. My grandmother used to warn me not to eat them and then touch my eyes because they would ruin my eyesight, but that’s just an old wive’s tale. It’s hard to find fresh figs around here, though. Lovely post.

  16. Stunning dsh and maybe when we get back to Spain we’ll have some of those early figs. We too had to eat up or shut up…seems reasonable enough to me know!

  17. Karen says:

    Duck and figs…it doesn’t get any better than that!

  18. Looks fantastic, Rosemary! It’s so true that what we didn’t like as children we sometimes end up loving as adults. Growing up, I didn’t have any choice in terms of meals. It was either eat what the adults were eating or starve. Now all of my friends with kids make a separate meal for their children that is usually: spaghetti, a hamburger, a hot dog, cheese on toast, or pizza. Even though I hated it at the time, I think it’s a disservice to children to give them what they want!

  19. I agree. My kids eat what is produced or they don’t eat at all. They do have something against fruit in a savoury dish though so they would cringe at this. They clam it started with their grandma making ‘fridge soup’ and throwing in stuffing with cranberries. LOL. I wasn’t there, thank God. I think your dish looks lovely though. I wouldn’t kick it off my table.

    • Thank you. The fridge soup doesn’t sound good. Too bad that experience ruined fruit in savory dishes for them. Just keep making it and have them taste a little and maybe one day they’ll like it or maybe not until they are older 🙂

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