Duck breast with dried fruit sauce

I had a recipe something like this years ago, off a packet of duck breast — now lost, but this is more or less a re-creation of it. Delicious and easy. I used PX sherry, but use whatever sweet wine you fancy — port or madeira would work too. Serve with something to mop up the sauce: mashed potato, rice, or just good bread. This amount serves two (we never eat a whole magret each).

For one large duck breast:

olive oil
1 shallot, sliced
sprig of rosemary
Zest of 1 lemon and 1/2 an orange
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
125 ml PX sherry or other sweet wine
a handful each of dried apricots and dried cherries or cranberries
juice of half an orange

Heat a glug of olive oil in a saute pan with a lid, and gently fry the shallot to soften. Meanwhile cut the apricots into quarters. Add all the remaining sauce ingredients to the pan and let the sauce bubble gently, covered, for about half an hour. Taste, and if you feel the vinegar is too sharp you can add a little sugar to balance it.

Score the fat on the duck breast in a diamond pattern with a sharp knife, and heat a ridged cast-iron pan or a heavy frying pan. Put the duck in skin-side down and cook for 6-8 minutes, till the fat has largely rendered. Reduce the heat a little, turn the duck over, and cook until it’s done to your liking (about another 6-8 minutes for medium rare). Let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving with the sauce.

One thought to “Duck breast with dried fruit sauce”

  1. Duck and PX are two of the nicest flavours for me but I can’t say I’ve ever used them together. That might be because I’ve drunk all the PX. This sounds like a very inviting combination. I’ve never eaten a whole magret in one sitting. (That might not be quite true).

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