Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Duck Breast in Sherry Cream Sauce

Duck always presents a special dish for a special occasion. The best part is, In an about an hour you can have this elegant dish on the table for your New Year's Eve celebration.

Preparing duck can intimidate a lot of home cooks. This one is so easy to make, you'll be high fiving yourself after plating it. Cooking duck breast is much faster and less complicating than cooking a whole duck. 

In this version, duck breast is cooked in its own fat in a skillet. The onions and leeks are caramelized in the duck fat. Sherry, heavy cream and broth are added to the pan to create a silky, flavorful sauce. The dish is garnished with fragrant toasted blanched almond leaves. 

To reduce the calories and fat content of the dish,  substitute a light version of the cream or Half and Half  Also, hazelnuts would be a great substitution for the almonds to garnish the dish. 
A perfect recipe for your Christmas or New Year's Eve dinner party.

Duck Breast in Sherry Cream Sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes 
Yield: Serves 4 
  • 1+1/4 lbs of duck breast (2 large pieces) 
  • 1/2 cup blanched almond leaves
  • 1 medium-sized sweet onion
  • 1 leek 
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 5 tablespoons sherry
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Rinse the duck breast and pat dry with paper towels. Cut each great in half then score a few cuts into the fat side of each piece. 
  • Season the duck breast with salt and freshly ground pepper on both sides and set aside. 
  • Place the blanched almond leaves in a small naked frying pan (no oil) over medium heat. Stir the almonds occasionally until they become golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside. 
  • Peel and dice the sweet onion. 
  • Cut the end off the leek and wash carefully in cold water, making sure all dirt is removed. Cut the leek into thin rings. 
  • Place the duck, skin side down in a cold skillet. Heat the duck pieces over medium heat
  • and sear the duck breast. When the fat side is golden and crispy, turn the pieces over
  • and continue cooking until the duck is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes each side,
  • depending upon the thickness of the breast pieces.
  • Remove the cooked duck from the pan. Transfer to a serving platter, cover with aluminum foil and stow in a warm place. 
  • Pour 2/3 of the duck fat out of the pan. You can transfer the fat to a glass jar for later use or discard. 
  • Add the diced onion and chopped leeks to the pan and fry, stirring occasionally until they start to soften, then caramelize. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the cream, chicken stock, and sherry. Pour the liquid into the skillet. When the mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 -15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • Retrieve the platter of cooked duck breast. 
  • If you like, slice the breasts into pieces. Pour the warm sauce over the top.
  • Scatter the toasted blanched almond leaves over the top and serve. 

Looking for more easy, last-minute holiday dinner recipe ideas? These all take under an hour to prepare:

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