This dish is the perfect combination! Duck breast with cherries and just a hint of chocolate. With a side of creamy risotto, it’s a yummy dish to celebrate Danny’s birthday or when fresh cherries are at their peak.
Duck Breast with Cherry Chocolate Sauce Risotto and Sugar Snap Peas
Duck, Cherries and Chocolate... Need I say more?
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- four duck breasts, skin on
- salt and pepper
*Cherry Chocolate Sauce
- 1 cup fresh tart cherries, pitted
- 1/3 cup Kirschwasser (cherry liquor)
- 1/2 cup Port Wine (cheap stuff will do)
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 star anise
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tbs. black peppercorns
- 2 tbs. More Than Gourmet Duck Demi-glace with 1 cup water added to make a stock (or substitute chicken stock)
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 ounce Green and Black's Organic 70% bitter chocolate (not semi-sweet)
- 1 tbs. butter
- 1-1/2 cups Carnaroli Risotto Rice
- 3 tbs. olive oil
- 6 cups More Than Gourmet Duck Stock made with 3 tbs. duck demi-glace and 6 cups water ( or chicken stock)
- 1 cup Chardonnay wine (cheap stuff will do)
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 2 tbs. butter
- 4 ounces mascarpone cheese (substitute cream cheese)
- salt and pepper to taste
Sugar Snap Peas
- 1-1/2 cups sugar snap peas
- 1 tbs. olive oil
- 1 tbs. butter
- salt and pepper
- Pit cherries and place in a bowl
- Macerate cherries by pouring the Kirschwasser over them and allow them to sit for 1 hour
- In a small sauce pot, add olive oil, and sauté minced shallot, carrot, and celery for 2 minutes
- Then add the star anise, fresh thyme, peppercorns, port, and duck stock made with the demi-glace and water (or chicken stock)
- Simmer the liquid over medium high heat until the sauce is thickened and reduced by 2/3 (this could take about 30-45 minutes)
- Strain out the sauce, and discard the solids
- Add the Kirschwasser, cherries and heat 3 minutes
- Add the piece of chocolate and stir until melted through the sauce
- Whisk in 1 tbs. butter to give the sauce some "shine"
- Taste for additional salt or pepper
- Serve over the seared duck breast.
- **To save time, the sauce can be made a day ahead, just gently reheat over low simmer.
- Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat
- Score a cross hatch pattern over the duck skin, being careful not to cut into the meat
- Generously season the duck breast with salt and pepper on both sides
- Lay the duck, skin side down and allow duck to slowly render it's fat, until it's a nice golden brown
- The amount of time may vary, depending on thickness of the duck, but it should be around 8 minutes
- Duck should be served rare to medium-rare, no longer
- Place the duck in the pre-heated oven until the sauce is re-heated and the sides are finished
- Slice thinly and serve with sauce
- Pre-heat the duck stock until boiling, then turn down to low heat
- In a deep wide pot, over medium-high heat and add olive oil and minced onion and sauté for 2 minutes
- Then add risotto rice and sauté until the grains become translucent, about 2 minutes
- (This is when I start my timer for 15 minutes of the 18 minutes it will take to complete my risotto, yours may take longer.)
- Add the wine and stir until it's almost evaporated
- Then add the stock, 1/2 cup at a time and stir, stir, stir
- When the stock is almost evaporated, add another 1/2 cup stock
- Continue this process until 15 minutes have elapsed, adjust the temperature up or down, it should be at a medium boil
- Check the risotto, it should be just al dente, and season with salt and pepper
- Stir in any remaining stock (if needed), butter and mascarpone cheese
- Turn off heat and serve immediately with duck and peas
Sugar Snap Peas
- In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat add butter and oil
- Then add the snap peas and sauté until hot and crispy
- Season with salt and pepper
- Seve with Risotto and duck
- *The sauce can be made a day ahead, and re-heated over low heat.
- **The risotto was made at 50 feet above sea level. It may take longer depending on altitude.
The keys to creamy risotto
- 1. Make sure your stock is boiling hot! If the stock is cold, the rice grains will not release it's starch which gives the risotto it's creamy texture.
- 2. You want to have a heavy bottom large pot that is also wide at the top, to give the rice lots of room to move.
- 3. STIR STIR STIR! This risotto should be stirred each time liquid is added and until the timer goes off. So be prepared to stand at the stove until it's done. I use a simple wooden spoon to stir mine.
- 4. You want your risotto to be loose enough to eat with a spoon. Also, make sure the risotto is served "al dente" or "to the tooth". This means when you take a bite, it has just enough firmness to be chewy and not mushy.
- Practice making risotto on a day when you have time to devote to it, so you can monitor how long your risotto will take. My risotto is done at exactly 18 minutes, and not a moment more or less.
- Bon Appetit!
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