Duck breasts are a favorite poultry alternative to chicken in our family, so we are always on the lookout for them at the butcher. Farm-raised duck is more tender than wild duck and can be eaten medium rare like lamb. When our cherry tree is ripe with fruit, it is a good time to pull out this recipe which pairs beautifully with our 2017 Pinot Noir or 2017 Cuvée.
Seared Duck Breast with Cherry Pinot Noir Sauce and French-cut Green Beans
- 4 duck breast halves, with skin about 1 1/2 pounds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots or onions
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 cups of Pinot Noir wine
- 2 cups of cherries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 pound French-cut green beans
- Salt and ground black pepper
Prepare the Cherry Pinot Noir Sauce
In a small saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot and sauté until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté a minute more, being careful not to burn.
Add the cherries and simmer over medium heat until mixture reduces by half and cherries are softened.
Raise heat to medium-high and pour the vinegar into the saucepan.
Bring to a low boil and cook for 5 minutes to reduce the liquid and thicken it slightly.
Add the Pinot Noir wine and cook again for 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare the French-cut Green Beans
Trim both ends of the beans with a paring knife, or snap off. Carefully split each bean in half lengthwise with a paring knife.
Boil water and pour over beans to cover. Blanch for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the beans are still a little bit crunchy. Strain the beans.
Toss with the tablespoon of butter. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.
Sear the Duck Breasts
With a sharp knife, score the skin of each duck breast in a crosshatch pattern, taking care to not cut into the flesh. Season the duck with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and a dash of pepper.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Place the breasts, skin-side down, in the skillet and cook for 8 minutes; the skin should be deep golden brown.
Turn the breasts and cook for 3 minutes (for medium rare), or longer.
Transfer the breasts to a heatproof dish and place in the oven to keep warm.
Remove duck breasts from the oven and cut on a diagonal into 1/2-inch (1.25 cm) slices. Arrange the duck slices around the beans and spoon the cherry sauce over and around the duck.
Serve with your favorite bottle of Three Feathers Pinot Noir (white or red)!