Duck Breast with Cherry Chocolate Sauce, Risotto and Sugar Snap Peas

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
Serves 4
Duck, Cherries and Chocolate... Need I say more?
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  1. four duck breasts, skin on
  2. salt and pepper
*Cherry Chocolate Sauce
  1. 1 cup fresh tart cherries, pitted
  2. 1/3 cup Kirschwasser (cherry liquor)
  3. 1/2 cup Port Wine (cheap stuff will do)
  4. 2 tbs. olive oil
  5. 2 shallots, minced
  6. 1 star anise
  7. 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  8. 1 tbs. black peppercorns
  9. 2 tbs. More Than Gourmet Duck Demi-glace with 1 cup water added to make a stock (or substitute chicken stock)
  10. 1 carrot, chopped
  11. 1 celery stalk, chopped
  12. 1 ounce Green and Black's Organic 70% bitter chocolate (not semi-sweet)
  13. 1 tbs. butter
  1. 1-1/2 cups Carnaroli Risotto Rice
  2. 3 tbs. olive oil
  3. 6 cups More Than Gourmet Duck Stock made with 3 tbs. duck demi-glace and 6 cups water ( or chicken stock)
  4. 1 cup Chardonnay wine (cheap stuff will do)
  5. 1/2 onion, minced
  6. 2 tbs. butter
  7. 4 ounces mascarpone cheese (substitute cream cheese)
  8. salt and pepper to taste
Sugar Snap Peas
  1. 1-1/2 cups sugar snap peas
  2. 1 tbs. olive oil
  3. 1 tbs. butter
  4. salt and pepper
  1. Pit cherries and place in a bowl
  2. Macerate cherries by pouring the Kirschwasser over them and allow them to sit for 1 hour
  3. In a small sauce pot, add olive oil, and sauté minced shallot, carrot, and celery for 2 minutes
  4. Then add the star anise, fresh thyme, peppercorns, port, and duck stock made with the demi-glace and water (or chicken stock)
  5. Simmer the liquid over medium high heat until the sauce is thickened and reduced by 2/3 (this could take about 30-45 minutes)
  6. Strain out the sauce, and discard the solids
  7. Add the Kirschwasser, cherries and heat 3 minutes
  8. Add the piece of chocolate and stir until melted through the sauce
  9. Whisk in 1 tbs. butter to give the sauce some "shine"
  10. Taste for additional salt or pepper
  11. Serve over the seared duck breast.
  12. **To save time, the sauce can be made a day ahead, just gently reheat over low simmer.
Duck Breast
  1. Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat
  2. Score a cross hatch pattern over the duck skin, being careful not to cut into the meat
  3. Generously season the duck breast with salt and pepper on both sides
  4. Lay the duck, skin side down and allow duck to slowly render it's fat, until it's a nice golden brown
  5. The amount of time may vary, depending on thickness of the duck, but it should be around 8 minutes
  6. Duck should be served rare to medium-rare, no longer
  7. Place the duck in the pre-heated oven until the sauce is re-heated and the sides are finished
  8. Slice thinly and serve with sauce
  1. Pre-heat the duck stock until boiling, then turn down to low heat
  2. In a deep wide pot, over medium-high heat and add olive oil and minced onion and sauté for 2 minutes
  3. Then add risotto rice and sauté until the grains become translucent, about 2 minutes
  4. (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.)
  5. Add the wine and stir until it's almost evaporated
  6. Then add the stock, 1/2 cup at a time and stir, stir, stir
  7. When the stock is almost evaporated, add another 1/2 cup stock
  8. Continue this process until 15 minutes have elapsed, adjust the temperature up or down, it should be at a medium boil
  9. Check the risotto, it should be just al dente, and season with salt and pepper
  10. Stir in any remaining stock (if needed), butter and mascarpone cheese
  11. Turn off heat and serve immediately with duck and peas
Sugar Snap Peas
  1. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat add butter and oil
  2. Then add the snap peas and sauté until hot and crispy
  3. Season with salt and pepper
  4. Seve with Risotto and duck
  1. *The sauce can be made a day ahead, and re-heated over low heat.
  2. **The risotto was made at 50 feet above sea level. It may take longer depending on altitude.
The keys to creamy risotto
  1. 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. 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. 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. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Bon Appetit!
He Hunts She Cooks