Seared Duck Breast with Dried Cherry Port Sauce
This weekend we headed out for our annual trip to Yamhill County for wine tasting and purchasing of this year’s best wines. We headed straight to Carleton Oregon. First stop was Ken Wright, then Lemelson and we finished off our day at Bergstom. In all we samples 20 pinot noirs ranging from this year’s neauve wines to 2006 pinot’s. The challenge during the day was remembering the specific flavor spectrums of each wine and comparing this years tastings with the memories from years past. It was a difficult job, but I dedicated myself to the task.
So, back to the inspiration. After a day of tasting beautiful Pinot Noirs Peter and I got talking about dinner. The day had been filled with the pungent ripe smells of wineries and the tannin of decaying leaves, and quickly we both zeroed in on duck. The dinner was set…
Pan Seared Duck with Dried Cherry Port Sauce
3 duck breast
Salt and pepper
Dried Cherry Port Sauce
½ cup rendered duck fat
1 shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup tawny port
1 tsp. black pepper corns
½ cup red wine
½ cup chicken stock
1.5 oz. chicken demi-glace
2 tbsp. butter
Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl cover the dried cherries with tawny port and peppercorns.
Dry the duck breast and score the fat with a sharp knife. On the stove sear the duck breast fat side down in an oven-safe pan over medium heat. Using medium heat will allow the fat to render and create a crispy crust. Once the duck has achieved a dark golden brown, about 6 minutes, turn the duck breast and transfer the pan into the oven. Bake the duck breast until medium-rare, about 6 minutes. When the duck breast reads 120 degrees on a thermometer remove from the oven. Let the duck rest under aluminum foil while you finish the sauce.
Pour off the duck fat leaving about ½ cup in the pan. Save any fat you pour off. It makes incredible hash browns. Sauté the shallot and garlic. Add the port soaked cherries, pepper corns and the remaining port. Stir in the chicken stock, chicken demi-glace and red wine. After the sauce has reduced whisk in the butter. The sauce should look thick and glossy.
Slice the duck, and pour the sauce over top.