FEATURED ON WCSH 6 MORNING REPORT
My family adores duck. We love the taste of the meat, the texture of it, the color of the breast when it is cooked medium rare. We love rich, brown duck stock, especially when it is reduced and integrated into a fruit sauce. And we love duck fat. It’s the best thing that ever happened to potatoes. Duck is a great alternative dish to serve at Thanksgiving. Cook a small turkey and several duck breasts and every member of my family is happy. And one more thing, if you want to make my brothers or my dad particularly pleased, give them duck on Father’s Day. Here’s my favorite recipe for duck breast served with a sweet and sour cherry sauce. Special thanks to Chef David Tanis for coming up with this twist on an old classic.
WATCH JILLYANNA’S APPEARANCE ON WCSH6 BELOW:
- 1 duck breast, about 1 pound
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 star anise
- 4 cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/4 cup raw sugar (turbinado)
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 cup duck stock or brown chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- pinch of cayenne
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 pound ripe cherries, pitted
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon Cognac
- Preheat Oven to 400 degrees
- With a sharp knife, lightly score fat cover diagonally in two directions, taking care not to cut too deeply and expose meat.
- Pulverize the peppercorns, star anise, cloves, fennel seed and Kosher salt in an electric spice mill.
- Sprinkle spice mixture over duck breast; massage seasoning into meat on both sides. For extra flavor, do this several hours in advance and refrigerate. Bring duck to room temperature before cooking.
- Make the sauce: Put raw sugar and red wine vinegar into a saucepan and simmer over medium high heat for 2 minutes, till syrupy. Add red wine and duck stock and simmer briskly for 8 or 9 minutes--until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Stir in ginger, cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- You should have about 1/2 cup sauce.
- Place a cast iron pan on heat. Place seasoned duck breast skin side down in pan while pan is still cold. Slowly bring heat up so you can hear duck breast sizzling.
- Let duck breast cook about 4-5 minutes till golden brown (turning down heat as necessary to keep from getting too dark). Turn breast over for 2-3 minutes more to get brown.
- Place browned breast in 400 degree oven for 5-6 minutes to finish cooking. Check the temperature of the breast with an instant read thermometer. Internal temperature should be 125 degrees for medium rare. Remove breast and let rest on a platter for 8 minutes.
- To finish the sauce, put butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add cherries and granulated sugar and cook for a minute or two, stirring, until cherries are heated through and beginning to get juicy.
- Add cognac and cook one minute more. Then add to previously prepared sauce and bring to a simmer.
- Slice duck breast and arrange slices on a platter. Spoon some of the sauce and cherries over meat.
- Serve with pan fried potatoes (cooked in duck fat.) I like to sip a good glass of Pinot Noir with this dish.