Magret de Canard au Cerises
Duck breast with cherry sauce is an exquisite meal with a delightful sauce that is easy to make.
For this recipe to be truly authentic you need real French 'magrets de canard', which are the breasts of ducks that have been fattened to produce foie gras, and the fresh red cherries from Roussillon in the south of France. But this recipe is a compromise, allowing for the difficulty of obtaining those specific ingredients.
Duckling à la Montmorency, as it is sometimes called, is a classic of French cuisine. You can make the sauce with both sweet and tart cherry varieties, or both fresh and canned fruit. Fresh are obviously better, but canned pitted cherries are more convenient, but be sure to use canned fruit, not the thick pie filling that also comes in cans. Adjust the sugar to taste.
The key to success is getting the cooking of the duck breasts exactly as you like them. Since they come in different sizes, and, sometimes, of varying quality, this takes a bit of practice and experimentation in your own kitchen. But keep notes of what you do at each stage, and vary this recipe accordingly so that you get perfect duck breasts every time.
What Side Dish To Serve With This Recipe
Substitutions For Red Wine
(Always replace the liguid amount with something.)
- alcohol-free red wine
- red wine vinegar (½ vinegar and ½ water)
- grape juice
- cranberry juice
- pomegranate juice
- beef broth
- chicken broth
Instead of Red Wine
- Add a tablespoon of kirsch to the sauce, but don't overdo it, or add 2-3 tbsps of port (but not both!)