It’s days away from the calendar turning over to June. While we may be dreaming of warm days and dinners cooked on the grill, sometimes Mother Nature decides to send us something else. Here in the Puget Sound, we lovingly refer these chilly, rainy days as June-uary.
We created this warm and satisfying duck recipe to warm the soul when skies are grey. The richness of duck is a perfect pairing for our Rhone style Reserve Syrah. The blackberry and dark cherry flavors in the wine blend beautifully with the dried cherries used in the sauce.
1/2 cup 2012 Lauren Ashton Cellar’s Syrah
1 cup dried cherries
1 large stalk of Rhubarb
1 cup chicken stock
2 Duck breasts
Salt and Pepper
Prepare the sauce ingredients
- In a small saucepan, gently heat the wine. Do not allow the wine to come to a simmer. Add the cherries to the wine , remove from the heat and cover and let stand for 15 minutes while you prepare other sauce ingredients.
- Finely chop the shallot
- Slice the rhubarb into thin 1/4″ slices
Prepare the duck
- Using a paring knife, score the fat side of the duck in a cross hatch diagonal pattern, taking care not to cut into the meat portion of the breast.
- Season the duck breast on both sides with salt and pepper
- Heat a medium sauté pan over high heat.
- Add the duck breast to the pan, fat side down
- Cook the duck until is it well browned on both sides (about 5-7 minutes on each side). Use a spoon to remove the duck fat from the pan as it cooks and set aside.
- While the duck is cooking, prepare the sauce
Prepare the sauce
- In a large saucepan or heavy bottomed skillet, heat 1 tbs of duck fat over medium high heat
- Add the shallots and sauté until translucent (1 minute)
- Add the rhubarb to the pan and sauté with the shallots until the rhubarb begins to soften (2-3 minutes)
- Add the cherry-wine mixture and the chicken stock to the pan and cook until it thickens slightly (5 minutes)
- Taste the sauce, if it seems very tart add 1 tsp of honey. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper
- Remove the sauce from the heat and cover to keep warm while you prepare the duck
- Optional: for a velvety smooth glaze, carefully puree the sauce in a blender