Hey Y’all. Long time no see, huh. I bet you thought I forgot about ya. Nah, you know I would never do that. I’ve been in a bit of a rut, and didn’t know what to write about. Usually I talk about mama, or my Aunt Willie’s house, or my partner. I guess I’ve ran out of memories and stories to tell….at least the ones I want to share. Hey, I have to keep something for myself.
So, I will leave you with this little gem of a recipe. It could easily be on your table for Christmas entertaining. Classy enough for a formal dinner, and casual enough for dinner in your favorite pajamas.
In the picture, I have it paired with cherry wild rice and fresh green beans sauteed in butter. The sides are easy enough, so I didn’t include the recipes. The rice was made by the package directions with chopped dried cherries added to the mix. The green beans were blanched in salted water, shocked in cold water, then sauteed in a few table spoons of real butter. Julia Child eat your heart out.
Pan Seared Duck Breast with Cherry Port Sauce
4 (6 to 8 oz.) fresh duck breasts
1 (15 oz.) can dark sweet cherries in heavy syrup
1 c. Port wine
1/4 c. duck stock (chicken or vegetable can be used if duck stock isn’t available)
1 Tsp. cold butter
Salt and white pepper to taste
For the Duck Breasts:
Carefully score the skin side of the duck breasts. These cuts should not cut into the meat of the breast, just through the skin. Season the breasts with salt and white pepper. Place the breasts skin side down in a large saute pan. Don’t crowd the pan. If all four breast won’t fit in your pan use a second one. Turn the heat on medium. The cook time will vary depending on the thickness of the breast and the skin. You want to render as much of the fat as you can from the skin. If they begin to brown too fast, remove the pan from the heat, lower the temperature to medium low, and continue until all the fat is no longer white. For the breast I used it was about 10-15 minutes. Once the fat has render and no longer white and the breasts are golden brown, turn them over and continue to cook until medium rare to medium. ( I would suggest med-rare.) This step should take about 3 to 5 minutes depending on how done you want it. Remove the breasts from the pan and allow to rest five minutes. To server slice the breasts on a bias, and place on top of sauce.
For the Sauce:
Combine the cherries with the liquid, stock, and port wine in a medium sized sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Reduce the sauce by three quarters. If you want you can strain the sauce at this point. Stir in the cold butter. Taste and season with salt and white pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.