Duck breast with dried cranberries, cream, and raspberry jam.
Nothing says Holiday cooking as a duck does. Alright… I can have duck all year round, but to me the texture and richness of the meat paired with a sauce, is the perfect portrayal of a cold night, to be enjoyed with a full body red wine, a fire roaring in the fireplace… What can I say… I am a romantic even during a school night. It is customary in France to have duck for Christmas, alongside Coquilles St Jacques, lobster, foie gras, and chestnut turkey.
There is something wonderful about eating duck. The meat is rich in flavor. Fruity sauces marry well. It is so easy to prepare, you will be amazed. One whole large breast will feed two peoples well.
Preparing duck can be daunting as it is very fat meat, however, I am here to show you how to enjoy a tender, gamey duck breast in the comfort of your own home.
When cleaning and preparing the duck breast to be seared there are a few tips that I want to share with you so you will enjoy this wonderful meat.
- Remove any extra fat that you may see coming out from under the skin. Do not remove or separate the skin from the meat as that is what gives the breast all of its flavors.
- Score the skin lightly making sure that it is not pierced all the way thru. This will allow for the heat to penetrate thru the skin and melt away all the extra fat.
- Cook skin side down for 5 minutes to a light golden crisp. Cook the other side for 3 minutes. At this junction, remove all the extra fat that has been released from the duck. Continue with the recipe. This step is important as you do not want your breast to sit on fat and cook on fat.
- Heavy cream is my choice. You may want to add some mascarpone if you have some on hand or creme fraiche.
- Check for seasoning. I generously season the breasts prior to cooking so a nice crisp coating will form, and I am satisfied with the taste. Please add more salt to counterbalance the sweetness of the cranberries and the jam.
Side Dishes Suggestion.
For dinner we had a crispy spinach salad is a good balance with the sauce and duck. Furthermore, if welting occurs with the warm sauce and duck, it will still taste delicious. A simple sprinkling of oil and light vinegar (raspberry vinegar would be perfect but optional.
Spinach Salad with Citrus is refreshing and brings the fruity flavors out of the sauce.
Asparagus with Balsamic Vinaigrette. Prepared in less than. 10 minutes, this dish of asparagus is quite the compliment.
Garlic Potatoes a feast that keeps on giving. Crispy and tender, potatoes always have been the perfect mate with rich flavorful meats. Make individual skillets or a large one for the whole family, you will not be disappointed.
Food and wine pairing?
Go with a rich red wine full of body. Pinot, Cabernet, Zinfandel, or Sangiovese. Ponte Winery is one of my favorite wineries and any of their red will be fantastic.
What side dishes do you love with your duck?
Duck Breast with Dried Cranberries, Cream and Raspberry Jam
- 40 mins total
- 10 mins prep
- 30 mins cook
- serves 4
2 6-ounces breasts of duck, skin scored
⅓ cup finely chopped dried cranberries
2 tablespoons Raspberry jam
1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven at 350°F. In an ovenproof skillet heat a shadow of oil on high heat. Score the duck breasts skin lightly with a knife making sure that it is not pierced all the way through. Generously salt and pepper both sides of the duck breast.
When the skillet is hot, add the duck skin side down. Cook until the skin is golden brown, about 5 minutes, turn to the other side and cook for 3 minutes. Turn again, skin side up, discard all of the fat from the pan and place in the hot oven. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Remove all the fat rendered from the duck breast, remove any large burn bits, if any in the skillet. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the cranberries and heavy cream. Lower the heat to see just a light simmer of the cream. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes.
Add the raspberry jam to the cream-cranberries sauce and blend well.
Spread the sauce on the bottom of the plate and serve the duck sliced over it.
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