Magret de Canard with red wine and fresh cherry sauce
This is the Bomb of duck sauces and preparations.. it’s the perfect combination of sweet cherries
and the acid of red wine to accompany fatty and gamey duck breast.
Searing the duck breast to the perfect temperature is the hardest part of this recipe - ca va très très vite! The length of cooking time depends upon the thicknes, not the weight, of your duck breast 😂.
On y va!
Remove the duck breast from the terrible plastic package 20 minutes, and up to 2 hours before cooking, set on a cutting board or plate to allow to come to room temperature. This is vitally important so that the meat relaxes and doesnt toughen up when seared.
Cut any extra fat off the edges of the duck breast which are hanging over the sides of the meat - as to trim off a bit of that fat to use for starting your sauce 😋. Score the fat by cutting slits across just down to the flesh, without actually cutting through the meat of the breast, and only piercing through the fat. This allows the meat to be cooked more easily on the fatty side and looks pretty too.
Note: if you want to use a skinless duck breast or remove the fat for cooking, this is entirely possible. I prefer it cooked with the fat on. You should still use some of the fat to heat and render to sear the skinless duck breast and that takes about 1 minute less time than the following cooking time with skin on.
Heat a heavy bottomed double reinforced stainless steel fry pan and sprinkle the bottom with a teaspoon of kosher salt. Let it get quite hot then place the duck breast fat side down first to sear! You first want to brown the fat side and render some duck grease which you need in order to sear the flesh side next. This takes 1,5 to 2 minutes- until it’s nicely browned - please do not touch, poke, prod or heaven forbid stir around or keep checking under the duck! It is like a child you need to let it go, undisturbed, with a close eye on it! You will see it browning around the outer edges, and especially smell it browning.. If you mess it about it will never brown! Et donc - once it’s nicely browned on the fat side turn it over on to the flesh side and let sizzle for 2 minutes. Note: You may need to drain off some of the excess fat from the pan after rendering the fat side - especially if using a duck raised for foie gras, as it has a lot more fat on it then a free range one..
Remove and Cover the breast for an additional 2 minutes off the heat. Take it out of the pan and set aside on a plate without the top on so that it can rest for at least 5 - 10 minutes. After all that drama pour yourself a glass of red wine - to test its ok for your sauce, and to calm your nerves.
This resting time allows all the juices to settle and absorb into the meat whereas if you cut it straight away - all the juices will flow out and you’ll also have raw meat in the middle and med rare on outer edges cuisson - which you want to avoid. The sauce will also cook the meet slightly when you add it , if hot as you wish - or preferably nicely warm if your cuisson is perfect.
I recommend practicing this in your own before serving to anyone you are trying to impress as it takes a few try’s to get it right!
See the Cherry red wine sauce recipe under sauces.