Magret de Canard with Plum Sauce


In our village of Honesdale, Pennsylvania, there is a French style cafe with lots of potential. I believe the owner a) lived a number of years in France, b) is married to a French man,   c) is actually French or all or some of the above.  I’ve forgotten.


Anyway, our one visit there was memorable because of the $15 we paid for what amounted to half of a thinly sliced, Long Island duck breast sandwich with a few no name brand potato chips as garnish.  The two swallows of sandwich that we had were good but certainly not of the quality of a magret breast from Barbary ducks that have been forced fed.  In addition, we waited a long time in a nearly empty cafe and had to get our drinks from an ugly refrigerator unit next to the counter.  And the fatal straw?  No wine  :/


Last week I ordered some American cut spareribs from Jacques, thinking of making a batch with an Asian like glaze.  I decided to make some Chinese plum sauce.  The recipe requires both apricots that are in season and plums that are not.  I substituted a bag of soft, dried plums, stoned.




The sauce is not at it’s peak for 1-2 weeks but it’s still usable and good tasting as I demonstrated by using it for my Barbery, magret duck breast the day after I made it 😉  I left the sauce chunky for the duck breast but when I make the rib glaze, I’ll probably food process it smooth.


Originally, I had planned to accompany the duck with some Asian noodles but this morning Nico sent me some home made taboule with plump, juicy, golden raisins.  Yum 😀


I like my duck breast rare; crisped fat, completely hot inside.  If you want yours cooked longer, cook it longer 🙂  Inspiration for the plum sauce comes from here.

Magret de Canard with Plum Sauce

1/4 cup fresh ginger, chopped

1 small onion, sliced thin

1 mild, long, green chilli (for babies), seeded and chopped

2 large garlic cloves, sliced

4 tsp salt

1 tbsp mustard seeds

1 cinnamon stick

2 cups cider vinegar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 lb bag of soft dried plums, stoned

1 lb fresh apricots, halved and stoned

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

3/4 cup water

1 duck breast, fat side scored and seasoned with salt and pepper

Weeks ahead of time, make the plum sauce, or at least the day before.  Put together in a bowl the ginger, onion, chilli, garlic, salt, mustard seeds and cinnamon stick.  Set aside.

Put 1 cup of the cider vinegar, sugars and lemon juice in a sauce pan, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.  Set aside

In another sauce pan, bring to a boil the plums, apricots, the remaining cider vinegar, the water and the balsamic vinegar.  Simmer for 15 minutes, then add the sugar mixture and the bowl of seasonings (ginger etc.), bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes.

Cool and store in jars.  Refrigerate.

Sear the duck breast in a hot skillet for 6 minutes fat side down, turn, lower the flame a bit and continue to cook for 9 minutes.  Remove the breast and allow it to cool for about 5 minutes before slicing.  Serve on a good slice of bread with roquette and plum sauce.









About cookinginsens

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

26 Responses to Magret de Canard with Plum Sauce

  1. Mad Dog says:

    Some say that the ducks are encouraged to overeat as opposed to force fed. Both ducks and geese that migrate will stuff themselves stupid in order to have enough body fat to make the long flight. Apparently, the ancient Egyptians discovered that a number of geese would overeat until their livers literally burst – they liked the taste and started to farm these birds.
    I’m not saying that ducks and geese are farmed until their livers burst, they do not have to be mistreated. They do not have a gag reflex like humans and naturally swallow whole fish. They are also inclined to refuse food if they don’t like their feeders.

  2. That looks incredible and cooked to perfection, just how I like it

  3. Conor Bofin says:

    That all looks lovely Rosemary. I love the banter with MD too. “Preaching to the choir” is one I have not heard in ages. I will be using it.

  4. reggiorif says:

    What an elegant dish, it looks incredible!

  5. Very very nice my friend. It just looks damn delicious!

  6. Mary Frances says:

    Duck in plum sauce? Delicious! It looks so rich and appetizing, very sophisticated!

  7. Those apricots look wonderful.

  8. Gorgeous. Can’t wait for some fresh British plums. Lovely, Rosemary!

  9. Pingback: Plum Sauce Glazed Spareribs | Cooking in Sens

  10. jjbiener says:

    I haven’t had duck in probably 25 years, and then I didn’t do the cooking. This looks wonderful. Duck is not a common commodity around here, so I would have to find some place that carries it. This looks like it would be worth trying.

  11. Pingback: Udon Noodles, Pork, Spinach and Quail Eggs | Cooking in Sens

  12. I’ll do this the next time I can get the barbary duck on our circuit court!! I think I have most of the ingredients for the plum sauce at home, thanks for the inspiring recipe, Rosemary!

Leave a Reply