Is there a meat more perfect than duck breast? A crispy skin, giving way to soft and juicy meat beneath. Few dishes are as eye catching as a gently blushing duck breast. The only snag comes when you need to know what to serve with duck breast. Fortunately, we’ve got lots of solutions for you right here. Below you’ll find plenty of ideas for side dishes that work perfectly with duck breast.
19 Duck Breast Side Dishes
Your main course selection is really important but ultimately it’s the sides that make your meal truly delicious. The mixture of flavors brings out the true taste of your main. Read this to find out what goes with duck breast. These are the perfect sides for duck.
1. Potato Dauphinoise
Duck is pretty rich, it sometimes makes sense to give it an equally impressive accompaniment. Dauphinoise potatoes are packed with lovely flavours. A mix of creamy and crispy potatoes. Fresh cream and more than a little garlic work well. A top tip when preparing the dauphinoise is to add a pinch of baking powder to your cream and potato mix. This stops it from separating.
2. Orange Sauce
Ok, it might be a little cliched, but it works! Because of the high-fat content of the duck, it might get a little too oily. By making a fresh and zesty sauce, you can cut through this fat beautifully. You can use concentrated juice, but for an extra bit of pizzazz try using freshly squeezed orange, including the pulp.
3. Sticky Marinated Duck Sauce
Sweet and savory is a well-known pairing. It works beautifully with duck too. The skin on a duck breast is one of life’s pleasures, so you want to make the most of it. What better way than a sticky and easy to make sauce? You don’t need many ingredients. Mix equal amounts of balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and add a crushed clove of garlic and a squirt of lemon juice. For the best results marinate your duck breast in this concoction overnight. Seal in a red-hot pan and finish in the oven.
4. Redcurrant Gravy
Roasted meats always go well with a slightly sweet jus. Pork and apple, lamb and mint, and of course duck and redcurrant. It is really easy to make. We like to cheat a little by using pre-made gravy mix. If you have roasted your duck in an oven pan, use half a cup of boiling water to deglaze the pan. Add this water to your usual gravy mix along with a heaped tablespoon of redcurrant jelly. See, we told you it was simple.
5. Spinach, Mushroom and Pomegranate Salad
Duck can be a little heavy. If you want something light to go along with it, then a fresh and simple salad can make the ideal choice. The beauty of a salad is that you can incorporate a light and fresh dressing to brighten the dish. Pomegranate seeds are the perfect blend of sweet and sour and refresh your palate, pair with a handful of spinach leaves and a honey and soy dressing. To top this off, add mushroom to make the most enjoyable side dish for duck breast.
6. Sweet Chilli and Tomato Jelly
If the sound of sweet and spicy Jelly doesn’t tickle your tastebuds, nothing will. This works perfectly with duck. Add two crushed cloves of garlic and two finely chopped chilli’s to the frying pan that you cooked the duck in. Add a tablespoon of water and two tablespoons of sugar. Once the mixture melts, add a handful of cherry tomatoes and a squirt of balsamic vinegar and cook the mixture until it is quite thick. Serve in small drops alongside your duck for the ultimate presentation.
7. Sweet Potato Mash
If you want super simple, then this could be the ideal side dish for duck breast. Sweet potato is filling, tasty, and it also (as the name suggests) has a sweet edge that works perfectly with oily and savory duck. Peel and chop a couple of large sweet potatoes and boil until soft. Add a sizeable chunk of butter and mash until smooth. For extra points, place into a ramekin dish and bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes until the top browns slightly.
8. Fried Egg and Potatoes
This is like a more refined version of hash. If you cook the egg right, you’ll get a lovely runny yellow yolk that works so well with duck breast. Peel 2-3 medium-sized potatoes and cut into ½” cubes. Heat a tablespoon of butter in a large skillet. Fry the potatoes, turning and shaking them regularly until they are evenly brown on all sides. Finish with a handful of chopped parsley and then serve with your egg on top. Delicious.
9. Brussels Sprouts
No, we don’t mean cut crosses in the bottom and boil them to death. Yuck! We like to finely shred our sprouts and then fry them. Do you know what is the best thing to fry sprouts in? Duck fat. Don’t wipe the pan after you have cooked the duck breast and add a few large handfuls of finely shredded sprouts. The volume will reduce as you cook them. Add a tablespoon of water and keep turning and tossing until the mixture is softened and browning on the edges. Crumble in crispy cooked bacon and a handful of toasted pine nuts.
10. Mashed Potatoes
A simple dish, so many possibilities. If you have cooked your duck to perfection, then there should be a lot of succulent juice left on your plate. Mashed potatoes are great for soaking this up. You can serve your buttered mash simply as a side, or combine it with cream, cheese, butter and garlic powder before baking it in a red-hot oven until the top goes all golden and toasty.
11. Glazed Carrots
You might want to add a splash of colour to your plate, some deliciously shiny orange carrots are the perfect way to do this. Scrub baby carrots and toss with some melted butter, honey, and perhaps a handful of chopped parsley. Bake for 50 minutes in the oven until they have shriveled ever so slightly. Add a spoonful of mint sauce and a pinch of sugar before serving in a large bowl for everyone to dive into.
12. Roasted Vegetables
Roasted vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and Brussels sprouts make a perfect side for duck breast. Their earthy flavors complement the rich taste of the duck, and roasting them brings out their natural sweetness.
13. Sauteed Spinach
Sauteed spinach is a simple and nutritious side dish that pairs well with duck breast. The slightly bitter taste of the spinach contrasts nicely with the richness of the duck. Add a bit of garlic and a squeeze of lemon for extra flavor.
14. Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Mashed sweet potatoes provide a sweet contrast to the savory duck breast. The creamy texture of the mashed sweet potatoes also pairs well with the crispiness of the duck skin.
15. Red Wine Sauce
A red wine sauce can enhance the flavor of the duck breast. The acidity of the wine cuts through the fat of the duck, creating a balance of flavors.
16. Wild Rice
Wild rice has a nutty flavor and chewy texture that pairs well with duck breast. It also absorbs the duck juices, making it even more flavorful.
17. Grilled Asparagus
Grilled asparagus is another great side dish for duck breast. The charred flavor of the asparagus complements the smoky taste of the duck.
18. Orange Salad
An orange salad provides a refreshing contrast to the rich duck breast. The citrusy flavor of the oranges cuts through the fat of the duck, while the sweetness of the fruit complements the savory taste of the meat.
19. Red Cabbage
Red cabbage, especially when braised, can be a great side dish for duck breast. It has a slightly sweet and tangy flavor that pairs well with the rich and savory taste of the duck.
Knowing what to serve with duck breast, there are many delicious ways to pair side dishes with your duck meal – from traditional roast vegetables and potatoes to unique pasta and grain dishes. Remember that balance is key when choosing sides – you want something that will complement rather than overpower your main course. Don’t be afraid to experiment and discover your own favorite combinations!
What are some traditional side dishes to serve with duck?
Traditional side dishes generally include items that complement the richness of the duck. Think along the lines of roasted vegetables, potatoes (mashed or roasted), and stuffing.
What types of vegetables pair well with duck?
Root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, or beets are great options as they can be roasted to bring out their natural sweetness, balancing the richness of the duck. Green vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, spinach, or green beans also pair well.
How can I use fruits in my duck pairing?
Fruit can be an excellent accompaniment to duck as its natural sweetness helps balance out the richness of the meat. Oranges, apples, cherries, cranberries or figs are all good choices.
What types of sauces or gravies complement duck?
A sweet and tangy sauce can work wonders with duck. Some popular options include orange glaze, cherry sauce, or a classic red wine reduction.
Can I pair duck with pasta or grains?
Absolutely! A rich, hearty grain like wild rice or quinoa can complement the hearty flavor of duck. Pasta, especially those with robust sauces like mushroom or truffle cream sauce, can also pair well.
What is a good dessert to serve after a duck meal?
After a rich duck meal, consider serving something light and refreshing for dessert. A citrusy sorbet or a tart fruit crumble could work perfectly.
What types of drinks pair well with duck?
When it comes to wine, Pinot Noir or Merlot pairs nicely with duck. For beer lovers, a Belgian-style ale can complement the richness of the meat.