This time of year is awesome for fresh gorgeous produce. Discover it at your local grocery or farmer’s market. It’s a good time to treat yourself or share something new with friends and family. People often ask me, “What’s your favourite cuisine Sharon…What do you like to eat?” The answer is, it depends upon my mood or what is fresh and in season or a tad bit different to experiment and create.
If I am out with friends for dinner, they might guess, “Oh Sharon’s going to order the duck or possibly the seafood.” They are probably guessing right 80% of the time. The other 20% is most probably the chef’s special. That is, if it is somewhat adventurous eating. I take on my foodie persona in true form, analysing, wavering, the decision and drooling.
Last Thursday night while grocery shopping for my Modern Thai class, I came upon some lovely duck breasts, fresh cherries, and some candy cane beets. These three ingredients can very simply make a delicious elegant and simple dinner for discerning tastes or to treat yourself.
I simply cut and roasted the white and pink candy cane beets along with a sweet potato. I had some gorgeous green broccoli that I simply steamed. With a few simple products from the pantry, a bountiful dish in blooming colour was created with a gorgeous crispy seared duck breast as the star. Ahhh…the simple beautiful bounty of earth’s culinary pleasures…this is the life!
Seared Duck Breast with Fresh Cherry Cinnamon Honey Glaze
2 5-to 6-ounce duck breast halves or one 12-to 16-ounce duck breast half
1/2 cup R. W. Knudsen Black Cherry Spritzer (any juice, white wine, stock, or combination may be used)
8 halved pitted sweet red cherries
1 tablespoon cinnamon honey (any honey, maple syrup may be used with ½ teaspoon of cinnamon)
Place duck breast halves between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Pound lightly to even thickness (about 1/2 to 3/4 inch). Discard plastic wrap.
Using sharp knife, score skin in 3/4-inch diamond pattern (do not cut into flesh).
Heat a heavy bottom, preferably cast iron skillet on medium high.
Season the duck breast on both sides with coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
Add duck, skin side down, to skillet and cook until skin is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn duck breasts over, reduce heat to medium, and cook until browned and cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes longer for small breasts and 8 minutes longer for large breast for medium-rare. Transfer to work surface, tent with foil to keep warm, and let rest 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour off all the drippings from skillet.
Add juice, cherries, and honey.
Boil until sauce is reduced to glaze, stirring often, less than 3 minutes. Season sauce with coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, if necessary.
Thinly slice duck. Fan slices out on plates. Spoon glaze over and serve.