Duck with Cherry Sauce

I’ve never made duck before but have loved it the few times I’ve eaten it out. I thought it would be hard to make so I was hesitant to try it, but this was fairly easy. I found a great source for pastured skin on duck breast, and made this recipe. It was great and my husband who’s never eaten duck before really liked it as well.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

1 cup organic soy sauce

1 cup Sherry

4 6-ounce pastured duck breast halves – with skin on

12 frozen organic sweet cherries, thawed, halved

1 cup organic chicken stock, preferably homemade

1 cup organic beef stock, preferably homemade

1/2 cup ruby (or tawny) Port

1 fresh thyme sprig

1 teaspoon organic cornstarch dissolved in 2 teaspoons water – you could also use arrowroot powder

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) organic/pastured butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, room temperature

Whisk soy sauce and Sherry in medium bowl to blend. Using sharp knife, make diagonal cuts at 1/2-inch intervals in duck skin (not through meat). Place duck, skin side up, in glass baking dish. Pour marinade over. Cover duck with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours.

Bring cherries, chicken stock, beef stock, Port and thyme sprig to boil in heavy medium saucepan over high heat. Simmer until mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 – 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat heavy large skillet – I used cast iron –  over medium heat. Remove duck from marinade. Add duck breasts, skin side down, to skillet. Cook until skin is crispy, about 10 minutes. Turn duck over and continue cooking to desired doneness, about 5 minutes for medium. Transfer duck to work surface.

Add cornstarch mixture to Port-cherry sauce. Bring to simmer, whisking constantly. Add butter 1 piece at a time, whisking until butter is melted before adding next piece. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Slice duck breasts thinly on diagonal and fan out on plates. Spoon Port-cherry sauce over duck and serve.   Enjoy!

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