Sagebrush Grilled Duck Breasts with Corn-Blackberry Salsa

Sagebrush Grilled Duck Breasts with a Corn-Blackberry Salsa

Sweet and savory combine in this grilled entrée filled with bold colors and distinctive flavors. If you’ve never made duck, or think it’s too fatty, don’t hesitate to try this recipe. Roxanne, the winner of the 2006 Leite’s Culinaria Recipe Contest, has made it quick, easy, and healthy by using skinless, boneless duck breast.–Roxanne Chan

LC Children of the Corn Note

Looking for new ways to play with corn? Check out Renee’s post on cooking late-season corn.

Sagebrush Grilled Duck Breasts with Corn-Blackberry Salsa

  • Quick Glance
  • 35 M
  • 3 H
  • Serves 4


  • For the marinade
  • 2 tablespoons seedless blackberry jam
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 6 large sage leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless duck breast halves
  • For the corn-blackberry salsa
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels, or frozen if corn is out of season
  • 1 1/2 cups small fresh blackberries, if large, cut into quarters
  • 2 scallions, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 large sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Make the marinade
  • 1. In a blender, or food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the jam, garlic, wine, olive oil, vinegar, sage leaves, and salt and pepper until smooth. Pour the marinade into a resealable plastic bag, add the breasts, tossing until well-coated, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Make the corn-blackberry salsa
  • 2. Thirty minutes before cooking the duck, toss the corn, blackberries, scallions, peppers, lime juice, honey, sage, and salt in a large nonreactive bowl. Set aside.
  • Grill the duck
  • 3. Oil the rack of an outdoor gas or charcoal grill, and prepare the grill for direct-heat cooking. You can also oil a large cast-iron grill pan and heat over medium-high flame until smoking.
  • 4. Meanwhile, remove the breasts from the marinade and pat them dry with paper towels, making sure to remove any solids which can burn. Set aside.
  • 5. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat to make a glaze. Pour the glaze into a small bowl and place beside the grill or stove.
  • 6. Grill the breasts, brushing frequently with the glaze, until nicely marked, about 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the size. Flip the breasts and cook for another 3 to 4 more, continuing to baste, until an instant read thermometer reads 135°F for medium rare.
  • Plate the dish
  • 7. Arrange the salsa on a large serving platter. Thinly slice the duck crosswise on an angle and arrange on top of the salsa. Dab the duck with the remaining glaze. Serve immediately.


  • If you’re using quarter blackberries, toss them into the salsa right before serving, so they won’t bleed.


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