Duck breast with lingonberry sauce

Ankbröst med lingonsås

Duck breast with lingonberry sauce and mashed potatoes

My wife told me it was time I used up the lingon (lingonberries) in the freezer, so I decided I would try pairing them with duck. I did some research on Swedish recipes for duck with lingonberries and, much to my surprise, I couldn’t find any, probably because duck is not very popular in Sweden. Despite this I decided to press on and I am pleased I did because it really is good!

Duck can be very fatty but I think this technique for cooking the breasts substantially reduces the fat content whilst preserving the flavour. Next time you cook some duck breasts I recommend giving this method a try, even if you don't use our recipe for the sauce!

Lingonberries for sale on a market in Sweden

Lingon (lingonberries) are quite tart so I decided I needed to use them in a sweetened sauce. I also felt that they only need a small amount of chicken stock because a heavy beef stock would be overpowering. I hope I can tempt you to try the recipe. I am sure you will like it! John Duxbury


Recipe summary for duck with lingonberry sauce


• Garnish the dish with a few lingonberries for anyone with a sense of humour who has never had lingonberries before! (They really are too tart to eat on their own!)
• If you are using rårörda lingon (sweetened lingonberries) instead of fresh lingonberries, omit the sugar completely.


4   duck breasts, about 150 g (6 oz) each
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
45 g (3 tbsp) caster (superfine) sugar
2 tbsp   balsamic vinegar
360 ml (1½ cups) water
60 ml (¼ cup) chicken stock
150 g (6 oz) lingonberries, fresh or defrosted
2 tsp   cornflour (corn starch)
15 g (1 tbsp) butter


To make the recipe easier to follow I have given the directions for cooking the sauce separately, but the duck breasts are easy to cook so I recommend cooking the sauce at the same time.

Duck breasts

Scored duck breasts on a board

1. Pat the skin of the duck breast with a kitchen towel to remove excess moisture. Score the skin and season with pepper. Leave for 30 minutes or so to come to room temperature.

2. Preheat your oven to 220ºC (425ºF, gas 7, fan 200ºC).

3. Season the breasts with a little salt and place skin side down in a cold non-stick pan on a medium heat without oil for 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Spoon off the fat regularly. Flip the breasts over and seal the other sides for about 30 seconds.

Roasted duck breasts on a trivet

4. Place the breasts skin side up on a trivet in a roasting pan in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes (rare) or 15 minutes (medium).

5. Rest the meat in a warm place for 10 minutes before carving.

Lingonberry sauce

1. Melt the sugar in a thick-bottomed saucepan over a medium-low heat without stirring.

2. When melted, take the pan off the heat and add the balsamic vinegar, water, chicken stock and two thirds of the lingonberries.

3. Place back on the heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil rapidly until reduced by half.

4. Sieve the mixture into another saucepan and add the cornflour (corn starch) mixed with a little water. Place back on the heat and stir until thickened.

5. Add the remaining lingonberries and season to taste. Stir in the butter just before serving.

Serving suggestion

Duck breasts with lingonberry sauce and mashed potatoes

Serve with some lovely creamy potatismos (mashed potatoes) to mop the lovely sauce. Garnish the mos with a little freshly grated nutmeg.


printer copy sb  printer version.pdf

Phone and tablet h32  phone & tablet version.pdf 

Horizontal-Yellow-line is run by a not-for-profit company set up to help English speakers around the world who would like to learn more about Swedish food. If you like the site please help us to promote it and bring Swedish food to a bigger audience by following us on:

 Facebook logoTwitter logoPinterest logo

John Duxbury
Editor and Founder