Pairs with Pinot Noir

As an entrée this serves 4


  • 1 tablespoon EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • ½ cup best quality cherry jam
  • 1-2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • Four 8oz duck breasts, halved
  • Salt/pepper to taste


  1. Heat the EVOO in a saucepan. Add shallots and sauté` until translucent.
  2. Add jam and vinegar and cook, stirring until jam has melted.
  3. Add more vinegar if needed t balance sweetness. Season generously with salt/pepper to taste. (It should not be sweet but more tart and fruity). This can be made ahead and refrigerated.

Prep and sear duck

  1. Using a sharp knife make shallow slices into the skin and fat, creating a diamond pattern. Take care not to cut into meat. This will help the fat to render and the skin to crisp. Season generously on both sides.
  2. Preheat a large stainless-steel skillet(s) over medium high heat for 2 minutes, until hot. (Preheat the pans dry- the duck has plenty of fat already!) Add the duck breasts, skin side down.
  3. Turn the heat down to moderate-low and sear, without disturbing them, for 4-7 minutes; depending on the size of the breasts. (Smaller fillets will take 4 minutes).
  4. Turn the breasts over and sear an additional 2-5 minutes (again depending on size). The duck breast will be medium rare when you remove from heat.
  5. Remove breast to a plate and tent with foil or drape with a kitchen towel; to rest for 3 minutes.
  6. As they rest, the breasts will come up to medium doneness. Don’t over cook them! Slice thin on horizontal diagonal. Serve with warm on plate first and topped with duck slices.

Photo by Gentl Hyers

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