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Recipe: Seared Duck Breast with Foie Gras Stuffing and Sour Cherry Reduction

I especially love to make this recipe for Seared Duck Breast with Foie Gras Stuffing and Sour Cherry Reduction a cold winter night.  Magret de Canard is best served rare or medium rare.  It is very easy to overcook the meat, which will result in a dry breast if you are not careful.  I always take the duck breast off the heat well before I think it is done.  After the duck breast sits for five minutes it should be cooked just perfectly.

You may use good quality store-bought chicken or duck stock for this recipe, though homemade stock is always better!  I try to keep a few cups of homemade stock in my freezer at all times.

Almost any prepared foie gras product will work with this recipe–foie gras torchon style, bloc of foie gras, or foie gras terrine.

Ingredients:

2 raw duck breasts (Magret de Canard)

1 tablespoon red verjus

¼ teaspoon soy sauce

Sauce

1 ¼ cup red wine

1 cup duck or chicken stock

¼ cup sour cherries

salt and cracked pepper

1 teaspoon cold unsalted butter

Stuffing

1 cup ¾ inch cubes French bread

1/3 cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon butter

½ teaspoon minced garlic

1/8 cup chopped celery

¼ cup chopped onion

pinch fresh chopped rosemary plus several sprigs rosemary for garnish

4 oz foie gras torchon or terrine cut into ½ inch cubes

Instructions:

Score the skin of the duck breast in a cross-hatch pattern.  Marinate the duck breast in verjus and soy sauce for at least 2 hours.

For the sauce, cook the wine over medium heat until reduced to 1/8 cup.  Add the stock and reduce to ½ cup.  Add the sour cherries and some cracked pepper and simmer for 2 – 3 minutes.  Set aside and keep warm.

For the stuffing, Toast the bread cubes in a 350° oven until golden and crisp.  Saute the garlic, celery, onion and rosemary in the butter for about 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the bread cubes and heat for a few minutes.  Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in another pan until it simmers.  Add stock a little at a time to the crouton mixture until evenly moist.  Add salt and pepper to taste.   Keep stuffing warm.

Put the duck breast in a hot pan, skin side down.  Turn the pan to medium high and cook until the skin is crisp and brown, about 5 – 7 minutes.  Turn over and cook for just a minute or two.  Remove from pan when duck is rare.  Set aside, covered.

Finish the sauce by incorporating the cold butter into the warm sour cherry sauce. Slice the duck breast into strips.

To serve, add the foie gras cubes to the stuffing and stir carefully.  Place a large spoonful of the stuffing on each plate.  Fan the duck breast over the stuffing.  Spoon the sour cherry sauce on top of the duck and stuffing.  Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs. Serves 2

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