Duck Breasts with Cherry Port Sauce

2 Servings
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  • 2 boneless duck breast halves (about 6 ounces each)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons tawny port or red wine
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • 1/2 cup pitted sweet red cherries (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon chilled butter


  1. Heat oven to 425 F.
  2. Score the skin of the duck breasts in a crisscross pattern taking care not to cut into the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Place breasts skin-side down in heavy nonstick skillet. Cook over medium-high heat without disturbing for about 8 minutes or until fat renders out and skin is golden-brown and crisp.
  3. Transfer breasts to an ovenproof skillet or baking sheet, skin-side down. Place in oven and after 6 minutes turn breasts so that skin is up and finish cooking about 2-4 minutes more for medium-rare, with an internal temperature when measured with a thermometer of 135 to 140 F. Cook an additional 8 minutes for medium (time will vary depending on the thickness of the breasts). NOTE: the USDA recommends cooking duck to an internal temperature of 170 F. Remove from pan and place on cutting board to rest 5-10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, pour off all but 2 tablespoons drippings from skillet. Add shallot to skillet and stir over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add broth, port or wine and honey, if using. Increase heat to high and boil until sauce is reduced to glaze, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Stir in cherries and heat through. Whisk in 1 tablespoon cold butter. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. To serve, thinly slice duck and fan slices out on plates. Spoon sauce over the slices.