6 Duck Breasts (excess fat removed)
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 475°. Score the skin of the duck breastin a lattice pattern to release excess fat. Generously season duck breasts withsalt and pepper.Heat an ovenproof skillet on high. When pan is very hotand smoking, place the duck in the pan skin side down; cook until skin is very crisp and golden brown. Remove the duck from the pan with tongs, drain excessfat from the pan and return duck to pan skin side down. Place duck in oven androast until cooked to desired doneness (about 8-10 minutes for medium rare). Let meat rest on a cutting board for 2-4 minutes before slicing.
Serve the duck with your favorite mashed potatoes or creamy polenta. Serves 6.
Pairs well with Lambert Bridge Zinfandel and Merlot
Bing Cherry Sauce
½C Balsamic vinegar
½ C Champagne vinegar
10 each black peppercorns
2 each Juniper berries
2 C Lambert Bridge Merlot
3/4 lb cherries, pitted
½ C sugar
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
2 C duck stock (can substitute chicken stock)
¼ lb pitted, halved cherries for garnish.
In a saucepan combine the first 9 ingredients for thegastrique. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a high simmer. Let the saucereduce to form marmalade like syrup. Add stock and simmer for one hour. Puréesauce and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Return to the stove and continueto cook, on low until the sauce will lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon.Then add the halved cherries to the sauce and spoon over the duck.