Tag Archives: Cherries and Cognac Sauce

2018 Cookery Project — Seared Duck Breast with Cherries and Cognac Sauce

Seared Duck Breast with Cherries and Cognac Sauce

Seared Duck Breast with Cherries and Cognac Sauce

In addition to the kindness of strangers, you can always rely on the recipes that have won four-star reviews from the readers of Epicurious. This one, for Seared Duck Breast with Cherries and Cognac Sauce, maintained that high standard.

Despite my well-documented obsession with Duck Confit, I’d never actually cooked any kind of duck dish before this. It’s not the same as cooking chicken or turkey. Duck is a much more fatty bird, and one of the first things to do when cooking it is to score the skin in a diamond pattern, which helps in rendering some of the fat. After doing that, I cooked the duck in a stove top skillet with a little butter.

The sauce made the dish memorable. After draining most of the skillet drippings, I sautéed a chopped shallot, then added chicken broth, honey, butter, pitted cherry halves—which gave me a chance to use my nifty little cherry-pitting device for the first time—and cognac.* I cooked it down to a glaze, plated it with fanned slices of the duck breasts, and served.

I liked the way it looked, with a red, pink, and brown colour combination. Tasted good, too.

*The recipe called for port, but cognac is what I had on hand. Worked fine.


★ Disaster. Inedible. Poisoned the cat.
★★ OK, but once is enough.
★★★ Mixed results. Something went wrong, but might try this again.
★★★★ Good, but lacks that special something.
★★★★★ Excellent. Goes into my “This is a winner” file.