Los Angeles Times

Sauteed duck breast

Sauteed duck breast with cherry port sauce Prep: 35 minutes Chill: Overnight Cook: 20 minutes Servings: 4 to 6 Note: Remember to start this one day ahead of serving. May be prepared through step 1 up to one day ahead and refrigerated Ingredients: 4 boned duck breast halves (3/4- to 1-pound each) with the skin left on 2 tablespoons unsalted butter Sauce: 3 medium shallots, minced 3/4 cup veal, duck or chicken stock 1 1/2 tablespoons orange honey 3 tablespoons tawny port 3/4 cup fresh pitted Bing cherries, fresh or frozen 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter Salt and freshly ground pepper 1. Pound the duck halves between two pieces of wax paper with a heavy pan or a mallet to even out the thickness. Score the skin with crisscross lines using a very sharp knife, making sure not to cut into the meat. Place on a baking sheet; cover loosely with wax paper. Refrigerate overnight to dry out the skin. 2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat in a skillet large enough to fit the 4 halves. Cook the duck breasts, skin side down until the skin is very crisp and nicely browned, 5-7 minutes. Turn over; cook until medium rare, about 5 minutes. (For medium, cook another 2 minutes.) Transfer to a cutting board; cover loosely. Let rest, 5-10 minutes. 3. For the sauce, remove all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings from the skillet. Add the shallots; cook until softened, stirring up the brown bits, 1-2 minutes. Add the stock, honey, port and cherries; increase the heat to high. Reduce to a light glaze, about 3 minutes. Whisk in butter to thicken and add sheen to the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 4. Slice the duck breasts thinly on the diagonal; arrange on serving plates. Spoon over the sauce. Read the Good Eating story Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune