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.
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce) boneless duck breast halves, skinned
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups pinot noir or other spicy dry red wine
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup whipping cream
How to Make It
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.
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.
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.
Since I haven't made this recipe yet, my only comment before going in is that the sauce takes approximately 15 minutes to make and I don't think the duck needs to rest 15 min. It would be cold and I don't like cold duck. Fortunately, my brother in law is a hunter and shoots wild game which is free to me, so I have it quite often. I'm thinking of making the sauce first, or cooking the ducks only 2 min aside in put in 250 degree oven.
Will make another jcomment and rating later today after I make the recipe. I will serve with garlic mashed potatoes and either green beans or asparagus.
You MUST make sure duck breast in skinned. Otherwise need an additional 3 minutes of cooking. Beware-- duck breasts are VERY expensive. $18 for four.
Sauce excellent. Never got sugar to turn golden so moved on. Also, didn't add all the whipping cream. Seemed like too much. Turned out wonderful with just 1/2 the suggested amount. Would be great for company but browning the duck breasts was very messy.
This was delicious. The sauce was a bit of trouble to make, but tasted great. I had to cook the sugar much longer than 5 minutes for it to turn golden, but it finally did. Definitely be careful then when adding the cherries & vinegar - the sugar hardens quickly & steams a lot. I will definitely make this again for a special occasion.