Recipe: Duck with cherries

By Grant Allen

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Duck with cherries is the perfect dinner party dish. Photo / Janna Dixon
Duck with cherries is the perfect dinner party dish. Photo / Janna Dixon

This is a classic combination of duck and cherries but tweaked to perfection by my friend Barry Fraser. Some secrets should not be kept and when you cook this, you'll be glad Barry shared this one. Barry served it with a creamy potato and kumara mash and green beans. This is a beautiful dinner party dish.

Serves 4

4 duck breasts
1 jar morello cherries, drained
1 cup beef stock
1½ cups red wine
2 shallots, finely diced
1 tablespoon olive oil or duck fat
2 cloves garlic, crushed
juice and zest of 1 large orange
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 heaped tbsp crabapple jelly
1 tsp harissa or 1 birdseye chilli, finely diced

1 Put the liquid from the cherries with the wine and the stock into a saucepan and reduce to half its volume.

2 Place the diced shallots in a frypan with oil or fat and cook on a low heat until softened. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add orange juice, zest, crabapple jelly and harissa or chilli and cook for a further 2 minutes. Combine with the reduced cherry liquid and boil briskly for 10 minutes. The sauce should be thick and syrupy and bubbling across the surface of the pan.

3 Score duck breasts with a sharp knife, taking care to only penetrate the skin and fat and not the meat.

4 Heat a non-stick frypan to low heat. Add the duck breasts skin side down and cook for 8-10 minutes. Turn and cook a further 4 minutes. This is for rare duck breasts.

5 Rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve on favourite mash with hot sauce poured over.

- Herald on Sunday

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