Grilled Duck with Cherry Sauce - skin-on grilling keeps meat juicy
Peggy Lampman | Contributor
by email, sign up here.
They're everywhere, they're everywhere. At last Michigan cherries are hitting their stride and this is one way to savor the bounty.
Bob Sparrow, the owner of Sparrow Meat and Produce in Kerrytown, sells a great deal of duck breasts for grilling and tells me to make sure to grill the duck breast with the skin attached. The duck fat insulates the flesh, ensuring it remains plump, moist and juicy. Bob remarked I could remove the skin after grilling the breast, if I preferred.
Never - that’s my favorite part! The Science of Cooking website, among others,vindicates me touting duck fat as a healthier choice than, for example, butter. Right or wrong, whatever — I'll skip dessert. And even if you prefer removing the skin after grilling; you’ll still have a delicious dinner.
(I'm thinking this sauce would also be excellent with pork or chicken.)
Time: 20-30 minutes
Yield: 2-4 servings
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, lightly toasted then crushed*
1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2/3 cup unsweetened cherry or pomegranate juice
1 cup pitted ripe cherries, halved
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped orange zest, plus extra for garnish
2 (6-8 ounce) duck breast halves, skin attached
1. In a medium-sized sauté pan, heat butter over low heat. Add shallot, 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seed and minced pepper; sauté 3-4 minutes or until shallot is translucent and mixture is fragrant.
2. Whisk cherry or pomegranate juice, cornstarch and 1 tablespoon brown sugar together. Add juice mixture to sauté pan and cook, stirring, until just beginning to thicken. Add additional brown sugar to taste, if desired.
3. Add cherries, orange zest to pan and simmer, occasionally stirring, until cherries have softened and sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 10-15 minutes.
Preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat.
4. With a very sharp knife, score duck breast skin in a criss-cross pattern. Rub remaining coriander over scored duck skin. Season both sides of duck breast with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
5. Grill duck, skin side down, 6-10 minutes or until skin in golden brown and crispy. Do not leave duck unattended as fat will likely cause flare-ups. When flare-ups occur, transfer duck to another side of the grill. Turn duck over, flesh side down, and continue grilling 1-2 minutes for medium rare (155 degrees). Cooking times vary: The thickness of the duck breast and heat of the fire will determine cooking time.
6. Let duck rest 5-10 minutes. Spoon a little sauce onto 2 plates. Thinly slice the duck breast and fan out over the sauce. Drizzle with additional sauce, garnish with orange zest, if desired, and serve.
*I crush the seeds with a mortar and pestle or mallet.
Peggy Lampman is a real-time food writer and photographer posting daily feeds on her website and in the Food & Grocery section of Annarbor.com. You may also e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.