Seared Duck Breasts with Spiced Cherries
Barbara Lynch | Yield: 4
Plump spiced cherries adorn crispy skinned duck breast in this beautiful recipe from Chef Barbara Lynch. Make it in early summer when sweet cherries are at their peak.
FOR THE CHERRIES
- 1 tbs black peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 1 clove
- 1 1/2lbs sweet cherries, pitted
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cups dry red wine
- 1/4 tsp red wine vinegar
FOR THE DUCK
- 4 Pekin Duck Breasts
- Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Fleur de Sel
- 2 tbs chopped fresh chives
- To make the cherries: Tie the peppercorn, cinnamon stick, star anise, and close in a cheesecloth sachet. In a medium saucepan, combine cherries, sugar, red wine, and sachet and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to a syrup and the cherries are quite soft, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove and discard the sachet, stir in the red wine vinegar, and remove the cherries from the heat.
- Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the duck breasts skin side down and cook for a few minutes to brown the skin. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking to render more fat and further crisp and brown the skin, about 12 minutes more.
- Pour or spoon off some of the accumulated fat and turn the breasts over to finish cooking on the other side. To check for doneness, use an instant-read thermometer; 135 to 140 degrees F is right for medium-rare. Transfer the cooked breasts to a plate or platter and let them rest for 6 to 8 minutes in a warm place.
- To serve, slice the duck and divide it among four plates. Top with the spiced cherries. Finish with a pinch of Fleur de Sel and a sprinkling of chives.