Duck Breast with Mushroom Ketchup Sauce January 15 2014

My son went on his first hunting trip with his Uncle David in November.  His first day in the cold and damp duck blind was rewarded with this little beauty.

A mother's pride led to very careful consideration of how best to present his first kill on a plate.  I immediately went to Jacques Pepin's Essential cook book for my answers.  What follows is a Pepin-inspired, amazingly quick, yet elegant sauce for duck breast.  If you do not live with a great hunter, get your butcher's help and try this out for dinner.

Duck Breast with Mushroom Ketchup Sauce

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup red wine

Soak the cherries in the wine and set aside.  This can be done hours before or just before you start the duck.

2 tablespoons butter

2 skinless, boneless duck breasts

salt and pepper

1 large shallot, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 heaping tablespoons OO MOMMIE Mushroom Ketchup

Heat the butter in a skillet. Season the duck on both sides with salt and pepper.  Cook the duck breasts in the butter for 2-3 minutes on each side.  Remove the duck from the pan and place on a dish in a warm oven until the sauce is complete.  

Put the skillet back on the heat and add the shallots and garlic to the butter and drippings and cook, stirring constantly until the shallots are transparent and the garlic is fragrant.

Drain the cherries from the wine and pour the wine and vinegar to the pan and bring to a boil.  Cook until the liquid is reduced by half.  Stir in the Mushroom Ketchup and the reserved cherries and stir to blend.

Remove the duck from the oven and pour any juices from the dish into the sauce.  Coat the duck with the sauce and serve.

I rendered the duck fat from the breasts and used it to roast potatoes; add a salad and crusty bread, and you have heaven on a plate.

Let us know how you OO MOMMIE and we might post your recipe for our fans.