Pan Fried Duck Breast with White Bean Puree, Leeks, and Spring Onion and Prosecco Sauce

Pan fried duck breasts with Prosecco sauce Close up

There’s nothing better than a crispy skinned pan fried duck breast, and this one with white bean puree, leeks, and spring onion and Prosecco sauce is a bit special. Perfect for date night!

We’ve been watching Masterchef, which I love although whenever the poor amateurs have to go in a professional kitchen I get a bit panicky.

This dish was created when my husband was away one weekend. I wanted to cook something special for him on his return. When I asked what he wanted, he said ‘your calling card’. This is the first challenge on Masterchef, and it’s supposed to be your signature dish. This is what I came up with.

I soaked the duck breasts in brine (made from salt, water and bay leaves) overnight before starting. I would recommend you do this if you make the dish – it really helps the meat keep in the moisture.

This will take an hour (not counting the soaking time above) and will serve 2, with leftovers.

Ingredients, Substitutions and Variations

  • Duck breasts – you’ll need one per person. If you are cooking for more people, you can simply multiply the ingredients.
  • Smoked bacon, leeks, double cream – these ingredients make your creamy leeks. You can use unsmoked bacon, but it won’t be as tasty.
  • Garlic, butter, butter beans, double cream – these make your butter bean puree. You can switch the fresh garlic for half a teaspoon of garlic powder if needed.
  • Butter, plain flour, spring onions and Prosecco – the butter and plain flour thicken the sauce, the spring onion and Prosecco provide that delectable sharp flavour.

Pan Fried Duck Breast Top Tips

  1. Cooking your duck breasts

    The absolute key to a good pan fried duck breast is letting the fat render enough. You want to cook skin side down for most of the cooking time – this way, you’ll get crispy skin and soft meat.

  2. Making ahead

    The leeks, puree and sauce can be made in advance. Leave to cool and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours – reheat thoroughly when you want to use them.

  3. Making the sauce

    The sauce uses a roux of butter and flour to thicken it. If your sauce is too thick, add a touch more Prosecco. Too thin and you can add more flour.

Get the cook books:

Pan Fried Duck Breast with White Bean Puree, Leeks, and Spring Onion and Prosecco Sauce

Save This Recipe
Harriet Young
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Servings 2 people


  • 2 duck breasts

For the leeks

  • 4 rashers smoked bacon
  • 2 leeks
  • 10 ml double cream

For the puree:

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 10 g butter
  • 2 x 400g tins butter beans
  • 10 ml double cream

For the sauce:

  • 20 g butter
  • 20 g plain flour
  • 6 spring onions
  • 2 large glasses prosecco


  • For the duck breasts, first make your brine. You’ll need approx 20g salt, 200ml water and 4 bay leaves. Mix together in a bowl, then add your duck breasts. Make sure they’re completely covered in the liquid, then cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.
  • For the puree, finely slice the garlic and add to a sauce pan with the butter. Cook gently for a minute, then add the butter beans and water from one tin, and just the butter beans from the other tin. Simmer gently until the beans are soft, then whizz with a food processor. Add the cream and a little water if it’s too thick, then season.
  • For the leeks, chop the bacon into small chunks and cook over a high heat until golden. Lower the heat and add the finely sliced leeks along with 50ml water. Simmer gently for 15 minutes, then add the cream and seasoning.
  • For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour and spring onions. Take off the heat and stir in the prosecco a little at a time. Put back on the heat and bring up to the boil, stirring all the time. Turn off the heat, then season (you may want to add a little sugar if it’s too tart).
  • For the duck, remove from the brine and rinse under the tap. Dry the fat, then place fat side down in a cold pan. Turn on the heat and cook, fat side down, for 15 minutes. You may need to drain away some of the fat during the cooking. Flip the duck and cook on the meat side for 2 minutes, then remove from the pan and rest for no less than 5 minutes.
  • Done! Serve the sliced duck breast with the leeks and puree, and the sauce poured over the top. Enjoy with a glass of prosecco!
Keyword duck, leeks

16 responses to “Pan Fried Duck Breast with White Bean Puree, Leeks, and Spring Onion and Prosecco Sauce”

  1. Fantastic! And beautiful plating. Can’t wait to make!

  2. Love this recipe. Easy, fast, healthy, delicious, and after all, stylish.

  3. I like the sound of the prosecco sauce as much as the duck breast!

  4. This looks great Harriet! I am a huge fan of gourmet at home 🙂 I see leeks popping up everywhere lately, how VERY French! Takes me back to my chefs telling me it’s one the most underused veggies in America!!! Thank you for sharing with us!

  5. This is beautiful! I want some right now.

  6. Hi great readingg your post

  7. […] Pan Fried Duck Breast with White Bean Puree, Leeks, and Spring Onion and Prosecco Sauce […]

  8. 5 stars
    Lovely change from our usual cherry sauce fo duck. Prosecco went really went well with th duck, and I loved both the leeks and bean puree with it too! Overall, 10 out of 10!

  9. 5 stars
    Fast, healthy and delicious recipe for dinner. Thanks for sharing.

  10. 5 stars
    Beautiful recipe, this is surprisingly easy to make and tastes divine! Perfect for dinner parties and special occasions, thank you!

  11. 5 stars
    I love duck at restaurants. But I always fail at cooking Duck, so I’m looking forward to trying it again with this recipe. It looks so good. Thanks!

  12. 5 stars
    This was so delicious! My first time making duck at home and I was impressed with myself (and this recipe)

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Hi there!

I’m Harriet, writer and cook, and I’m so pleased to have you here! I love nothing more than cooking delicious food and sharing it with the world. You can find out more about me here.