02 July 2011

Duck Breast & Cherries

Have you come across Harry Eastwood? Here latest cookery book, "The Skinny French Kitchen", Bantam Press 2011, is a real delight. Beautifully designed and full of deliciously tasty recipes. She aims to reduce the fat content of traditional French dishes without compromising the taste - and she achieves her mission! I'm won over by her tasty, well researched recipes, for instance her duck breast with cherry sauce. Easy, yummy, and lean - what more do you want?

We found that two duck breast fillets were enough for a family of four. I've changed the recipe ever so slightly, as I found the sauce tasty but thin, so I've upped the amount of butter, using it to bind the sauce.

2 duck breast fillets
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp raspberry vinegar
a glass of pitted cherries, drained (ca. 200 g)
75 ml sherry
1 star anise
a little ice-cold butter

Preheat the oven to 140 C. Remove the fat from the duck breast. Heat the oil in a frying pan (I used a heavy, cast-iron pan) and brown the duck breast in the hot oil for 2 minutes on either side. Remove the duck breast and wrap in two layers of aluminium foil. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

Reduce the vinegar in the (unwashed! you want the meat residue in your sauce) frying pan, add cherries, anise, boil lightly for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, remove the anise. Keep warm but below boiling point.

Remove the duck breast from the oven, unwrap and leave to rest while you finish off the sauce. Any juices caught in the foil parcel you may want to add, then use small pieces of ice cold butter to bind. Slice the duck breast and arrange with the cherries on a platter. I prefer to serve the sauce itself seperately but that's just me. 

Serve with a simple green salad and slices of fresh  baguette. 
Bon appetit!

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