SEARED DUCK BREASTS WITH CHERRY GLAZE

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I’ve always loved duck!   I usually order it whenever I see it in restaurants.   So when our local grocery store started carrying “fresh” duck breasts, I decided to develop a recipe that I could easily prepare at home.   This recipe, to me, is as good or better than any I’ve tried.   And it’s very simple to prepare with fairly common indredients.   Bonus …..  not very many ingredients either.

Now, I’m not an authority on duck.   My husband, on the other hand can see one in the sky and identify it!!   Of course, he could say anything and I’d never know the difference!!   But, what we’re cooking here is not what someone’s shot out of the sky!!   I believe they are farm raised duck and I’m not sure of the variety.   The kind that’s available to me is unfrozen, but I’m not entirely sure whether they’ve been previously frozen.    Bottom line….. they’re delicious.   Even if you think you’re not a fan, try this…..  you may even like it!!!




SEARED DUCK BREASTS WITH CHERRY GLAZE

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These are your basic ingredients:

4 4-6 oz DUCK BREASTS (thaw, if frozen)

Salt and pepper

Shallot, one large, finely diced or minced

Cream de Cassis

Cherry jam, jelly or preserves

Balsamic vinegar

First, preheat your oven to 350*.    At the same time move one of the oven racks to the second highest level or so, making sure the pan you finish in will fit on the rack and not touch the oven elements.

Prepare the duck breasts 

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Rinse the duck (I know, some folks don’t rinse foul, I do),  dry throughly with paper towels,  score the skin in a hashtag pattern  (just cutting through the skin, not into the meat), and salt and pepper.   If I remember, I let the duck sit out for 15-20 minutes, so it’s not so cold.

Sear the duck breasts and bake them off

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Over high heat, using a non-stick (or other well seasoned) skillet,  place breasts in skin side down.    Now, let them sit, this will take at least 5 minutes or so, depending on your stove top.   You want them a beautiful “dark” brown, and at the same time you will be cooking off some of the duck fat.   It will be necessary to drain off this fat, (be sure to save, since it can be used to season all sorts of things!) maybe a couple of times.    I use a spoon and keep a small bowl handy.   Be careful….it is fat and hot!!   The idea is to keep the skillet “dry” so the  meat will sear.   Remember you are not trying to cook the meat through, since you will finish cooking it in the oven.  When the color is right, flip and sear the other side slightly.    Transfer breasts to a foil lined baking pan, fat side up.   Place on top rack in the preheated oven.   Bake 10- 15 minutes,  depending on the level of doneness you prefer.    My husband prefers little to no pinkness, so I cook it on the longer side.    This will be a personal preference, so begin checking it as early as 8 minutes.




Prepare the Cherry Glaze 

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Usually, while the breasts are searing, I mince up the shallot.   Once the duck’s in the oven, using the same skillet, reserve a small amount of fat.   Over medium heat, add the shallot.   Sauté for several minutes til tender and golden.   Add 2-3 large tablespoons (about 1/2 cup or so) of jam to the skillet,  then about 1/4 cup or so of vinegar,  followed by the same amount of Cassis.  (I always “eyeball” these, because I like a lot of glaze and frankly, you can’t mess it up……it’s DELISH!)   Reduce slightly, about 3-4 minutes over lowered heat.

Prepare the plate

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When duck is finished, remove from oven and rest for about 5 minutes.   Slice each breast at a 45* angle into 1/4 inch strips.   As I said, my husband likes his a little “doner”,  but properly prepared duck should resemble a medium-rare steak.   Arrange on a plate and spoon cherry glaze overtop.    Serve immediately and ENJOY!!!!   

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