Monday, June 23, 2008

Duck with Madeira Cherry Sauce, Mashed Potatoes with Kale, and Roasted Asparagus

Duck is one of my favorite meats. However, I’ve never been able to perfect duck breast at home. The skin is never crispy enough. and the meat usually ends up being overcooked. I’ve tried searing the skin on the stove, then throwing the breast in the oven, as well as cooking the breast on the stovetop the entire time, but I always get the same disappointing results. Due to my duck inadequacies at home, duck is something I often order at restaurants, wondering why restaurant-cooked duck tends to be cooked so perfectly: nicely crisp skin and perfectly medium rare meat.

Tonight, I decided to try my luck at duck once again. I bought the some sweet cherries (first of the summer!) at the Greenmarket yesterday, so I decided to go with this recipe for duck with a Port cherry sauce, substituting Madeira for the Port because that was what I had on hand. I served it with olive oil mashed potatoes with kale, ramps, and garlic scapes, inspired by this recipe from 101 Cookbooks. I also used up the rest of the now dinky-looking asparagus from last week by roasting them in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

As for the verdict on the duck? I think I finally got it right, but decide for yourself.

Duck, resting after sauteeing over medium heat, 10 min. skin down, 5 min. skin up:

Duck, plated:

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