Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr
Yield
4 servings (serving size: 1 duck breast half and 1/4 cup sauce)

This recipe starts with a gastrique, a classic combination of caramelized sugar, vinegar, and fruit. Whipping cream finishes the sauce, adding velvety richness that underscores the robust flavor of duck. Serve with green and wax beans.

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until sugar dissolves, stirring gently as needed to dissolve sugar evenly (about 1 minute). Continue cooking 5 minutes or until golden (do not stir). Remove from heat; carefully stir in cherries and vinegar (caramelized sugar will harden and stick to spoon). Place pan over low heat until caramelized sugar melts.

Step 2

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper over duck. Add duck to pan; cook 5 minutes. Turn duck over; cook 4 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from pan; let stand 5 minutes. Cut duck across the grain into thin slices.

Step 3

Return skillet to medium heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil, shallots, and garlic to pan; cook 1 minute or until tender, stirring frequently. Add wine to pan; increase heat to medium-high. Bring mixture to a boil; cook until reduced to 3/4 cup (about 6 minutes). Add broth; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 6 minutes). Pour wine mixture through a fine sieve into cherry mixture; discard solids. Bring cherry mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in cream; simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Serve sauce over duck.

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