Juicy, crispy duck breast on a bed of sweet-tart cherry sauce with balsamic vinegar and honey. What could be more delicious or impressive? I'd recommend this for the perfect stay-at-home meal. Baby greens lightly tossed in olive oil and lemon juice or super-creamy puréed potatoes would be the perfect accompaniments.
• Prep time: 10 minutes
• Cook time: 20 minutes
• Yield: Serves 2
• 2 tsps olive oil
• 1/2 cup dry red wine
• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 small shallot, finely diced
• 2 x 5 to 6 ounce duck breasts
• coarse sea salt, such as maldon
• 10 twists on the black pepper mill
• 1/2 tbsp very cold unsalted butter
• 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
• 1 tsp honey, preferably orange flower
• 7 ounces bing cherries, pitted, stemmed, and halved
- Take the duck out of the fridge 15 minutes before you want to use it. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Score the fat on top of the duck in a crosshatch fashion, carefully to score only the fat and not the flesh beneath it. Season the duck on all sides with salt.
- Preheat a small nonstick skillet on medium heat. Place the duck, skin-side-down, in the hot pan and leave it alone for 10 to 12 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and the fat has rendered.
- Take the pan off the heat, and turn the duck breasts over so the bottom of the breasts are coated in the rendered duck fat. Pour the excess fat into a heat-proof container, and keep for frying potatoes.
- Put the duck, skin-side-up in its original sauté pan, in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. The internal temperature will be about 135°F. Let the duck breasts rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing.
- To make the cherry sauce, heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and the shallots. Sauté for 1 minute, just to soften the shallots. Add the wine, stock, and cherries. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the balsamic vinegar, salt to taste, and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove a 1/4 cup combination of liquid and cherries and purée in a mini food processor. Return the puréed mixture to the pan with the rest of the sauce, and stir in the honey and the cold butter.
- Slice the duck. Pour the sauce onto a serving plate, and arrange the slices of duck on top. Season with a bit of salt and pepper for garnish.
This great family recipe is thanks to Serious Eats Recipes at https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/01/sweet-tart-duck-breasts-with-fresh-cherry-sauce-recipe.html