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: