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Author Notes: I was at my local farmer's market last week and saw a box of beautiful sour cherries. I'd never cooked with them before but I bought them anyway. My mother suggested I put them in a tart but I decided to try them with duck breast. Everyone was happy with the results. - sweet enough
Food52 Review: Like Heather, we had never cooked with sour cherries before. The raw cherries were pristine and nearly translucent, with a cautious nibble prompting a serious pucker. Simmering the cherries with the shallots, apricots, thyme, stock and wine mellows their tartness and gives rise to a bright, fragrant sauce that complements the duck, an often gamey bird. Helen, our duck guru, showed us how to properly render the fat by keeping the heat at a slow, steady burn and (carefully) pouring off the fat every once in a while so that the breasts wouldn't start to deep-fry. - A&M - The Editors
- 4 duck breasts with skin on
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 cup fresh sour cherries, pitted, stems removed
- 4 fresh apricots, sliced in quarters
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/3 cup apricot nectar
- 1/3 cup red wine (I used a Pinot Noir)
- heat oven to 450 degrees. rinse and pat dry the duck breasts and score the fat in a cross hatch pattern. Sprinkle both sides with salt and papper. Place them fat side down in a heavy pan over a medium high heat for about 7 minutes or until the fat is golden brown.
- turn the breast over and place a sprig of thyme under each breast. place the pan in the oven and roast for about 7 to 10 minutes depending on how you like it cooked. remove the breasts from the pan and place on a serving dish and cover tightly with foil.
- pour off all but about two tablespoons of the duck fat. place the minced shallots in the fat and cook over medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes. add the cherries and apricots and cook for about 1 minute then add the stock, nectar and wine. cook over medium heat until the sauce is reduced by about half. discard the thyme sprigs and correct seasoning.
- slice each breast and fan the meat on each plate. spoon sauce over the meat and serve.
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