Lauraine Jacobs

Food Writer and Author of Delicious Books


20 December 2012


Duck breasts with balsamic, orange and fresh cherries

  • 4 boned duck breasts
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Scant tbsp flour
  • 300mls chicken stock
  • 150mls red wine
  • 1 orange, grated zest and juice
  • 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 20 cherries, stones removed and cut in half

Trim any excess flaps of fat from the duck breasts. With a very sharp knife score the skin of each duck breast to make a diamond pattern. Generously season each side with salt and pepper. Place the duck breasts, skin side down in a heavy based frying pan, and place over a moderate heat. There is no need to oil the pan as the fat will immediately start to run from the duck. Turn the heat to low and allow the duck to cook gently for about 10-12 minutes. Once the skin is crisp and golden turn the duck breasts over and continue to cook on the meaty side for a further 2 minutes. The meat should be nicely rare. Remove from the pan and keep the duck breasts covered in a warm place to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. There will be at least one cup of fat in the pan, so store this in a container and when cool, refrigerate. The duck fat can be used to roast delicious potatoes and keeps for months if refrigerated. To make the sauce, put the chopped onion and butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook gently until the onion is golden and soft. Stir in the flour and continue to cook until the flour is golden. Add the stock, red wine, orange zest and juice and stir while bringing to the boil. Allow the sauce to simmer for at least 10 minutes so it reduces and becomes syrupy. Add the balsamic and cherries and cook for a further minute.
To serve, place the duck breast on a heated plate and pour the sauce and cherries over each portion. Serve with steamed baby new potatoes and blanched baby green beans, garnished with a little chopped parsley. Serves 4 Wine match: a Central Otago pinot noir

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