>> Monday, July 27, 2015
I'm always thrilled when a food I love suddenly becomes so trendy that I can find it anywhere! I have had a longtime love affair with duck, and luckily so does Joe, so he understands my desire to eat it early and often. Now duck fat fries and duck breast are on lots of menus, and "duck confit" is something I hear coming out of the mouths of ordinary people. Woo hoo!
Sweet cherries seem a little late this year because the Great Lakes region, unlike the rest of America, is having the coldest, rainiest summer I can ever remember. It's fabulous mosquito weather. If you are having trouble finding (and pitting) sweet cherries, frozen ones are good, too.
Fruit is always good to pair with duck because the meat is rather oily and a little tartness sets it off perfectly. The first time we made this roasted duck recipe, I wished I had made about twice as much sweet cherry sauce to freeze for later. I can think of about ten other things I'd like to pour this sauce over.
1 4 lb. duck
1 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the sauce
1 tsp olive oil
1 small shallot, finely diced
1/2 cup Merlot
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup chicken stock
1 cup pitted and halved sweet cherries
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put roasting pan on lower oven rack and fill with 2-3 inches of water. Oil a poultry rack and place in the pan with the bird on top, breast side down. Rub with the remaining oil, then sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast duck for 1 hour, basting occasionally.
Turn duck breast-side up and roast until dark brown, about 25 minutes per pound in total. The internal temperature should be at least 140 degrees when finished. Let it set for 15 minutes before carving it.
While the duck is roasting, make the cherry sauce. Heat the oil in a small pot and then add the shallot. Saute until tender. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half. Put half of the sauce into a blender or food processor and process until smooth, then stir into the sauce.
Serve the duck with sauce drizzled over it, and pass the remaining sauce.