Pan Fried Duck with Sherry, Raisin And Pine Nut Sauce

José Pizarro


In this recipe Oloroso sherry is used in the same way as wine.

Serves 4 | Prep: 7 mins | Cooking: 35 mins

In this recipe Oloroso sherry is used in the same way as wine.  Oloroso means ‘scented’ in Spanish, this sherry gives an extra depth in flavour due to its oxidative aging which gives it its dark nutty flavour.  If you don’t have sherry you can use red wine but for a truly authentic and delicious meal we’d definitely recommended buying some!

This dish appeared on Saturday Kitchen on the 10thOctober 2015.


  1. Soak the raisins in the sherry overnight.
  2. Remove the duck breasts from their packaging, put them on a plate, cover them loosely with a sheet of greaseproof paper and leave them somewhere cool overnight. This will help dry out the skin and make it extra crispy.
  3. The next day, put the sugar into a small pan with 1 tablespoon cold water and leave over a low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  4. Increase the heat and boil vigorously until the syrup turns a deep amber-coloured caramel.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the vinegar (take care as it will bubble quite energetically).
  5. Return the pan to the heat, add the soaked raisins and the sherry and leave to simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  6. Mix the arrowroot with 2 tablespoons of water, stir into the sauce and simmer for 1 minute.
  7. Season to taste and keep warm over a low heat.
  8. Lightly score the skin of each duck breast into a diamond patter, taking care not to cut down into the flesh.  Season the meat with salt and pepper and the skin with just salt.
  9. Heat a dry, heavy-based frying pan over a high heat.
  10. Add the duck breasts, skin-side down, lower the heat to medium and cook them for 3-4 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden brown.
  11. Turn the breasts over and cook them for 5 minutes if you like your duck pink, or slightly longer if you like them a little more cooked.
  12. Remove the breasts from the pan onto a board and leave them to rest for 5 minutes.
  13. Meanwhile, using the same pan that you cooked the duck in, add a little olive oil and fry the sliced pumpkin for a few minutes.
  14. As they start to turn colour add the girolles and thyme, fry for no more than 1 minute.  Season to taste.
  15. Place the pumpkin on warm serving plates.
  16. Slice each duck breast diagonally into long thin slices and transfer onto the pumpkin. Add some of the girolles around the side of the plate.
  17. Stir the sherry vinegar and toasted pine nuts into the sauce and spoon it over the duck.
  18. Garnish with the watercress and serve.


  • 50g raisins
  • 300ml Oloroso sherry
  • 4 x 175-200g duck breasts
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¾ teaspoon arrowroot
  • 25g pine nuts, toasted
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 1 large pumpkin, thinly sliced, skin on
  • 1 banana shallot, finely diced
  • 75g girolles
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Watercress to garnish