Duck with Vodka and Cherry Sauce

This dish makes for a decidedly comforting yet elegant meal sure to please even the most discriminating guests. As for the sauce, also try making it separately as a great accompaniment to your favorite pork recipe!

Duck with Vodka and Cherry Sauce 470x449.jpg

Ingredients

  • 4 baby zucchinis
  • ½ cup (125 ml) olive oil, divided use
  • 1½ teaspoon sea salt, divided use
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided use
  • 2 duck breasts
  • 1⅓ cup (200 g) fresh or frozen cherries
  • 2 fluidounces (60 ml) vodka
  • 3 Tablespoons (45 ml) honey, or agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise and drizzle with ¼ cup (60 ml) of the olive oil. Season with ½ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper.
  3. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven, cover with foil, and keep warm. Keep oven preheated at 400°F (200°C).
  4. Pat the duck breasts dry with a paper towel. Score the skin with a sharp knife and season on both sides with the remaining salt and pepper.
  5. Place the breasts, skin-side down, into a dry, cold frying pan. Cook over high heat for 5 minutes, or until the fat begins to render and the skin turns golden brown. Flip the breasts over and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Transfer breasts to a baking pan and cook in the oven for 15 minutes (for pink interior) or up to 18 minutes (for well done). Remove from oven, cover with foil, and keep warm.
  7. Place cherries, vodka, chicken stock, honey, and cornstarch in the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure the lid.
  8. Select the lowest setting. Start the machine, slowly increase to its highest speed, and blend for 2 minutes 30 seconds. Remove the lid plug, pour the remaining olive oil through the lid plug opening, and blend for 2 minutes 30 seconds.
  9. If you prefer a thicker sauce, transfer to a small pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
  10. To serve, pour some sauce onto each of four plates. Carve the duck breasts and divide evenly among the plates. Serve with the courgettes.