I do have to cook some time. In the midst of the holiday whirl I not only decided to cook a meal, but I even came up with a new recipe.
I don't always cook holiday meals, but I always seem to make up for it by trying to make creative pre-holiday meals. Before Christmas and Thanksgiving I have managed to come up with such dishes as quails in cranberry sauce and pheasant in red wine.
It was one of those times that a mere suggestion set the gears turning in my head. I read a line in a novel about a dinner that served brandied cherries and soon I knew I had to make brandied cherries myself.
I decided to mix things up a bit by using cherry brandy. Ever drink this stuff? It's pretty foul, but a nip of it is good in cherry pie or melted with the Gruyere in fondue. I thought it would work well with cherries.
I served mine alongside some spinach and sauteed mushrooms. It made for a very colorful, Christmas-like meal. Considering that I'm doing Greek on Christmas Eve and brunch for Christmas, I'm glad I managed to make something that looks a bit traditional.
Duck Breasts with Brandied Cherries
- 2-4 duck breasts
- Salt and pepper for sprinkling
- 1 bag frozen pitted cherries
- 1 cup kirsch
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Corn starch or potato starch (optional)
In a small saucepan combine cherries, kirsch, juice, zest, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Bring to a boil and reduce to a gentle simmer. Whisk in starch if using. Simmer for 30 minutes or more.
Cut a few slashes in the skin of the duck breasts, cutting all the way through the fat, but not into the meat. Sprinkle them on both sides with salt and pepper. In on oven-proof skillet over low heat, cook the duck breasts slowly, for about 20 minutes, periodically draining off the fat (SAVE IT). Move the duck breasts into the oven and cook another 15-20 minutes depending on thickness and how rare you like your duck breasts.
For a nice presentation, slice your breasts into medallions on the bias and serve topped with cherries.