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Seared Brome Lake duck breasts in a red wine and cherry sauce

  • Preparation : 30 minutes
  • Cooking : 20 minutes
  • Portions : 4

Ingredients

  • 4 Brome Lake duck breasts
  • 1 tbsp. Brome Lake duck fat, melted
  • 250 ml Brome Lake duck stock
  • 500 ml red wine (Cabernet, Merlot, Valpolicella)
  • 100 ml demi-glace sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup Bing cherries, pitted, cut into quarters
  • Sugar to taste, if desired
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Ground fennel, to taste
  • Dried lavender flowers, to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 200° C (400° F). Remove the duck breasts from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before cooking. In a small saucepan, reduce the red wine by half, simmering with the bay leaf and thyme. Strain. Put aside.

  2. Melt the duck fat in a saucepan over medium heat. Add half of the cherries. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add wine, duck stock, demi-glace sauce and the remaining cherries. Simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt, black pepper and a little sugar to balance the sourness of the sauce if needed. Remove from heat and set aside.

  3. Prepare the duck breasts: Remove the packaging and pat dry. Score the skin in a 2 cm (3/4”) crisscross pattern without cutting the flesh. Season with salt, pepper, a bit of ground fennel and some dried lavender flowers.

  4. Over medium heat, sear the breasts in a skillet for about 8 to 10 minutes on the skin side until golden brown. Drain excess fat while cooking for crispier skin. Turn over and finish cooking in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the meat is pink (internal temperature of 58° C). Remove the breasts from the pan, and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand for 5 minutes (the meat will reach 62-64° C – the ideal temperature for maximum tenderness).

  5. Meanwhile, warm the sauce on low heat. Slice the duck breasts and place them in the sauce. Serve with the following suggested side dishes: butternut squash cubes sautéed in duck fat with thyme, buttered leek confit and potatoes roasted in duck fat with rosemary and Espelette pepper.

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