Tuesday, February 14

Duck with Cherry Port Sauce

Elegant duck breasts with a sweet and tangy 

Duck Breasts with Cherry Port Sauce

We celebrated Valentine's Day over the weekend, with a small gift exchange, a special bottle of wine, and a delicious meal at home. It was my first experience cooking duck, but I've certainly eaten it plenty of times as it's my go-to order at nice restaurants and always seems to be my pick for special events like anniversaries. This dish is simple and impressive (even more so when served on my Limoges plates), the perfect thing to wow your valentine with. And as an added bonus, I saved all the rendered duck fat from the breasts and it's now stored in my freezer for future decadent meals (including a few that I'll feature later this week).

More Duck Recipes:
- Orange Maple Duck Breasts
- Slow-Roasted Crispy Duck
- Easy Duck Confit

Seared Duck Breasts with Cherry Port Sauce:
For Duck
  • Use a pairing knife to score the skin side of two large boneless duck breasts.* Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place duck, skin side down, in a very hot skillet and cook for 12-15 minutes, pouring off excess duck fat every 5 minutes or so.
  • Once most of the fat has rendered and the skin is brown and crispy, flip the breasts and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Transfer duck to a baking dish, and roast skin side up in 425°F oven for 5 minutes for medium doneness.
  • Remove from oven, cover dish with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • Slice duck and arrange onto plates. Top duck with cherry port sauce.
For Sauce
  • Add 1 large minced shallot and 2 sprigs of fresh thyme to the skillet the duck cooked in.**
  • Let shallot cook for 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent.
  • Add in 1/4 c. port wine, 1/3 c. orange juice, and 1/2 c. chopped pitted cherries.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper and turn off the heat.
  • Whisk in 1 tbsp. cold butter and spoon sauce over the duck breasts.

Serves two - three
*About 1 1/2 lbs. total.
**Make sure that only about 1 tbsp. of fat is left in the pan.