A slightly sweet cherry sauce enhances this tender, moist, crispy duck breast. Pair with California Pinot Noir or Zinfandel.
- 4 duck breast halves, with skin
- salt and ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) finely chopped shallots
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 cup (240 ml) California Pinot Noir
- 1 cup (240 ml) chicken stock
- 1/2 cup (70 g) dried cherries, sliced in halves
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) unsalted butter
- cooked long-grain white rice
- Preheat oven to lowest temperature.
- With a sharp knife, make three long shallow cuts about 1/2-inch (1.3cm) apart, just through the skin of each half breast.
- Season the breasts generously with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, until hot.
- Place the breasts, skin-side down, in the skillet.
- Cook for 8 minutes; the skin should be deep golden brown.
- Turn the breasts and cook for 3 minutes (for medium rare), or longer.
- Transfer the breasts to a heatproof dish and place in the oven to keep warm.
- Remove all but two tablespoons (30 ml) of the duck fat from the skillet.
- Place the skillet over medium heat and add the shallot and garlic.
- Cook for 1 minute, stirring often, until the garlic is lightly browned.
- Raise heat to medium-high and pour the wine and chicken stock into the skillet.
- Bring to a low boil and cook for 5 minutes to reduce the liquid and thicken it slightly.
- Add the cherries and cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from heat and quickly whisk in the butter.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove duck breasts from the oven and cut on a diagonal into 1/2-inch (1.25 cm) slices.
- To serve, divide the rice among four plates, arrange the duck slices over the rice and spoon the sauce over and around the duck.