Serves 4 (serving size: 1 duck breast half and about 2 tablespoons sauce)
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Ginny Branch
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 (6-ounce) boneless duck breast halves, skinned
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 1/2 cups blackberries
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup port or other sweet red wine
3/4 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
How to Make It
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle duck with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add duck to pan; cook 3 minutes or until browned. Turn duck over; cook 3 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove duck from pan; let stand 5 minutes.
Add blackberries, shallots, and thyme to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until slightly softened. Add port; cook 1 minute or until syrupy. Add stock and any juices from duck; cook 5 minutes or until thickened and reduced to about 1/2 cup. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and vinegar. Cut duck across grain into thin slices; serve with sauce.
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I bought 1 package of duck breasts from Whole Foods. The package had 3 breasts of varying weights so I made all 3 for 2 of us (we didn't eat all). As an aside: I skinned the breasts and fried the skin to get duck fat which is very trendy! It made about 1/2 cup, that I froze for future use!! This recipe is all about the sauce and not overcooking the duck. Good but not a wow. Nice presentation for company.
I probably shouldn't post this because my market did not have duck, so I substituted bone-in chicken breasts. Market also did not have blackberries this time of year - so I used raspberries. Came out great. I pan-seared them for 5 minutes on each side then finished them in a 425 oven for 30 minutes. Perfect and delicious. Would love to try this with duck and blackberries because it's a keeper of a recipe.
Okay, so I didn't make this dish exactly like the recipe, but I made only one small change. That change was that I used pork chops instead of duck. And guess what; it turned out great! It was tart and savory and sweet and delicious. It's also very healthy. We served ours with a whole grain mixed wild and brown rice, and steamed cauliflower, and it was really, really good. It was a great way to use the first bowl full of ripe blackberries of the season from our backyard patch.
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