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Categories: Main courses, Quick and easy

Duck breasts with pan-roasted cherries

Duck breasts with pan-roasted cherries
Los Angeles Times

This time last year, I began a trip through the French countryside that would last all summer. It was no longer spring, but it wasn't quite summer either. It was that bonus in-between season called cherry. My first guesthouse was ... Read more

Total time: 25 minutes, plus 30 minutes sitting time | Serves 4
Note: The technique for cooking the duck is adapted from Paula Wolfert's "The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen." Serve this dish with a mixed green salad tossed in a simple vinaigrette.
  • 2 (12- to 14-ounce) Muscovy duck breasts
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons chicken stock or water, divided
  • 2 large shallots, sliced thin
  • 1/2 pound cherries (any variety or a mixture), stemmed

Step 1Take the duck breasts out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking and allow to come to room temperature. Remove any silver skin from the meat. Rinse and pat dry. Using a sharp knife, score the skin in a crisscross pattern without cutting into the meat. Sprinkle the skin with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to cook.

Step 2Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet. Add the duck breasts, skin side up, and sear over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons stock to deglaze the pan, letting the liquid boil for about 1 minute.

Step 3Turn the duck breasts skin side down. Season the meat side with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes without turning the breasts. As it cooks, the skin will crisp and render fat. Turn the breasts over again and cook the meat side until done (it will feel springy to the touch), about 2 to 3 minutes for medium rare.

Step 4Remove the breasts from the pan, placing them on a warm platter. Cover loosely with foil.

Step 5Carefully pour out the rendered fat into a small metal bowl.

Step 6Place 2 teaspoons of the fat into the same skillet. Over medium heat, add the shallots and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Step 7Add the cherries, and raise the heat to high. Pan-roast the cherries, shaking to cook evenly, about 2 to 3 minutes (do not let the skins pop). Remove from heat. Add to the pan the remaining 2 to 3 tablespoons stock, plus the juices that the duck breasts have released.

Step 8Slice the duck breasts into one-third-inch-thick slices, cutting at a diagonal starting at the narrower end. Transfer to a warm platter, slightly fanning the slices. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and spoon the cherries over.

Each serving:
337 calories; 35 grams protein; 10 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 17 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 193 mg. cholesterol; 123 mg. sodium.
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