7 February 2017
Roast Duck with Cherries
Remove the cherry stalks, slit the cherries in half and remove the stones. Place the cherry halves, grape juice and cinnamon in a small saucepan and heat until it reaches a simmer. [Red wine is the usual ingredient here, but grape juice is good if you add a touch of vinegar later on.] Simmer very gently, covered with a lid, for 25-30 minutes.
Add the sugar, honey and vinegar, then cook gently for a further 10 minutes. Take out the cinnamon and season lightly with salt and black pepper.
When the duck and potatoes are ready, stir a small knob of butter into the warmed sauce then spoon onto the plates.
Make sure that the duck breasts are at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before starting to cook. With a very sharp knife, score the skin, but not the flesh, diagonally a few times then repeat in the other direction to crosshatch. Sprinkle salt on the skin.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, 180 degrees fan oven.
Place the duck, skin side down, in a small cold frying pan then bring it up to hot and cook for 10-12 minutes, until the skin has crisped up. Turn off the heat.
Place the duck breasts, skin side up, on a warmed oven tray brushed lightly with olive oil or, alternatively, pour off the excess fat and just turn them in the same pan. Cook the duck in the oven for another 10-12 minutes, depending on the size of the duck breasts and how you like it cooked. Allow 10 minutes for the duck to rest before slicing.
Impress your Valentine this year by cooking a special meal at home just for two; tender roast duck, with a crispy skin of course, and juicy cherries, accompanied by crunchy sauté potatoes.