Duck with port and cherry sauce

A rich and fruity sauce is the perfect accompaniment to duck in this recipe from home cooks Patricia and Paul Walsh
Duck with port and cherry sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the roast potatoes

  • 500 g potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks, par-boiled
  • generous drizzle olive oil
  • salt and black pepper

For the duck

  • 4 duck breast, about 225g each, skin on
  • 200 ml port
  • 50 g dried cherries
  • a few sprigs thyme
  • 200 ml chicken stock
  • 20 g cold butter, cubed

For the green beans

  • 200 g green beans, trimmed
  • 1 large knob butter
  • 1 handfuls flaked almonds, lightly toasted

Tips and Suggestions

Cut the roast potatoes into large chunks this way they will absorb less fat. Also try not adding butter to your vegetables. For more information on healthy eating see eatwell.gov.uk.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

2. For the roast potatoes: tip the potatoes into a roasting tin, drizzle generously with olive oil, season with salt and black pepper and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until crisp and golden-brown.

3. For the duck: while the potatoes are roasting, season the duck breasts all over with salt and black pepper.

4. Heat a large heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the duck breasts to the dry pan, skin-side down. Leave the duck breasts undisturbed for 4-5 minutes or until most of the fat from under the skin has rendered and the skin is crisp and golden brown.

5. Turn the duck breasts over and lightly brown the other sides for about 2 minutes. Remove the duck from the pan and keep warm.

6. To make the sauce, drain and discard any excess fat from the duck pan then return the pan to the heat. Pour in the port to deglaze, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release any flavoursome brown bits.

7. Bubble for 30 seconds then return the duck to pan, skin-side up, and tip in the cherries and thyme.

8. Pour in the chicken stock, bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 7 minutes or until the sauce has reduced in volume by a third and the duck is cooked to your liking.

9. For the beans: while the sauce is simmering, cook the beans in a pan of boiling, salted water for 4-5 minutes or until just cooked but still crisp.

10. Drain the beans, stir through the butter and sprinkle with the almonds.

11. To finish the duck, tip in the cold butter into the sauce and shake the pan until the butter has melted and the sauce is thick and glossy.

12. Remove the duck from the pan and set aside to rest for about 3 minutes.

13. Carve the duck breasts and arrange on a serving plate alongside the roast potatoes and green beans. Drizzle the sauce over and around the duck and serve.

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