Duck Breast with Cherry Sauce for two

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I kind of feel like I am having tiny Christmas dinners all throughout the month of December. And I gotta say, I’m lovin’ it.

This is one of those dinners. Simple as can be and festive as can be.

Duck goes really well with any kind of fruit and is usually paired with citrus, but it goes equally well with berries and darker fruits like plums or cherries.

The Duck breast has been treated in a different way because I really dislike the skin. I do like the skin when it’s crispy, but how long does the crispiness last , really? By the time dinner gets to the table and you actually start eating the crispyness is almost gone.
So, what I do and what may seem as a shocker to some of you, but I remove the skin and treat the breast more like a steak. Simply seasoned with salt and pepper and pan fried. I use a cast iron pan for this because it works best in my opinion.

Then I cut up the skin in tiny bits and render the fat, where I then pan roast the potatoes and finish them of in the oven. This gives you the best roast potatoes you can ever imagine, and you’ll be surprised to see how the skin disappears in the pan almost completely.

The cherry sauce goes so well with the duck, it’s a little bit sweet and a little bit sour, perfect against the intense duck flavour, and such a festive dish.

      

Serves 2 – 3

Ingredients Duck Breasts;

2 Duck breasts

salt and pepper

Thyme

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Method;

Remove the Duck from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.

Remove the skin and chop fine. Place in a cast iron skillet and render the fat over low heat, until all the skin has almost disappeared. You will end up with about 4 to 6 tbsp. fat.

Season the duck breast on both sides, heat a cast iron frying pan over high heat with three tablespoons of the duck fat.
Place both duck breasts in the pan and don’t move them for about 3 minutes then turn the over. Cook for another 3 minutes.
Remove to a plate and let sit covered with foil for about five minutes.
This is medium cooked, if you like it less done cook it for 5 minutes total. For completely done 7 to 8  minutes, it depends a little bit on the size of the duck breast and the thickness.

Slice and serve with the pan roast potatoes and cherry sauce.

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Ingredients Cherry Sauce;

1/2 C. brown Sugar or sugar of choice

1/2 C. Red wine Vinegar

2 whole Star Anise

1 Cinnamon Sticks

3 C. frozen Cherries (no stones)

1 tsp. corn starch

1 tbsp water

Method;

Place the sugar, vinegar, star anise and cinnamon in a medium non-stick frying pan over high heat and bring to a simmer. Add the cherries and cook, turning occasionally, for 8–10 minutes or until just soft and the sauce has reduced a little. Make a slurry with the corn starch and water, add to the sauce and let thicken.

Ingredients Roast Potatoes;
1/2 Lb., potatoes, peeled
2 tbsp. fat rendered from duck breasts.
salt

Method;

Pre heat oven to 220° C  / 428° F
Par boil the potatoes for about ten minutes, drain, and let them steam off.
Heat the (oven proof) pan with rendered duck fat and roast the potatoes until they start ro turn golden brown. Place the pan in the oven and roast for an other 20 25 minutes until crispy and golden all over, turning ocasionally. Season with salt.

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If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog  on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Clementine Cranberry Roast Pork

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Harvest Pumpkin Salad, baked Halloumi and Chantherelles with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette.

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I’ve got Pumpkin on my mind. Everywhere I look I see pumpkins, everything I read seems to be about pumpkins and now I can’t stop thinking about them So rather than fight it, I’d better embrace it.

No, in all seriousness I love pumpkins and I am very happy with the vast amount of Pumpkin recipes going around . In magazines, on tv and online. I have come up with a few myself and this is the first one. I had it for dinner tonight and it was so satisfying and delicious I couldn’t wait to share it. Usually I am not a fan of just having a salad for dinner because I get hungry after about an hour. But it has been two hours since I had my dinner and I think I am going to be ok until breakfast.

This salad does have a few steps to prepare but then again it is a dinner substitute so there is some work and cooking involved. But fun work….promise. And it is so pretty and delicious you could easily serve it for an informal dinner party with some freshly baked bread.

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Serves 4

   Ingredients for the salad;

  • 1 lb roast pumpkin cubes
  • 2 bags of lettuce mix, about 8 oz.
  • 4 oz. of canned lentils, drained
  • Traditional Halloumi Cheese, 7 oz
  • 14 oz. Chanterelles, gently wiped clean
  • 1 large red onion, peeled cut in half and into slivers
  • 1/3 C. Parsley leafs whole
  • 1/4 C.  dried Organic Cranberries, soaked for at least 30 minutes
  • 1/2 C. Bacon in smallish dice, (omit for vegetarians)
  • 1/2 C. Maple candied All Natural Roasted Pecans (Unsalted)
  • Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Roast pumpkin cubes;
  • Pre heat oven to 350 ° F/ 180 ° C
  • 1 lb. fresh cubed Pumpkin, peeled and seeds removed
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin spice mix
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. Himalayan salt
  • 2 tsp. olive oil

Toss everything together and place on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Roast for 20 minutes. Toss pumpkin half way thru cooking.

Remove from oven and let sit at room temperature.

Maple candied Pecans;

1/2 C. All Natural Roasted Pecans (Unsalted)

2 tbsp Maple Syrup

Toast the pecans in a dry frying pan for 2 minutes until pecans smell toasted. Add the maple syrup and cook for two more minutes, until syrup has reduced and all is sticky and deep golden brown. Transfer the pecans to a plate covered with parchment paper. Immediately separate the pecans with two forks. Let cool completely.

Warning: Caramel of any kind gets extremely hot so do not touch with your fingers or taste it!!!

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette;

  • 2 tsp. prepared Dijon mustard
  • 4 tsp. Maple Syrup
  • 3 tbsp. Thick Balsamic Vinegar
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Whisk the first three ingredients together until well blended and slowly add the olive oil until emulsified. Add a salt and pepper.

Before we start with the chanterelle and Halloumi it is time to prepare the salad plates first. Or salad platter, which ever you prefer. Place like this

1  Salad leafs

2 onion slivers

3 roast pumpkin cubes

4 lentils

5 parsley leafs

Now back to the chanterelle. Heat a frying pan over high heat and add the bacon dice, cook over moderate heat until really crispy, remove from pan and set aside in a small bowl.

Remove some of the fat from the pan if necessary and put it back on the heat. Add the chanterelle and cook on high heat for about four to five minutes until golden brown. Remove to a plate and put the pan back on the heat. Add the Halloumi slices and bake in a dry pan for about 1 and a half minutes on each side until crispy and soft.

Divide  the chanterelle carefully over the salad, scatter with the bacon and add the baked Halloumi slices. Decorate with the maple candies pecans and cranberries and serve straight away with the Maple Balsamic vinaigrette.

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Not quite what you were looking for? How about Endive Gratin with Baked Apples, Blue cheese and Thyme img_1181