We were very excited to see trays of cherries for sale at the Capital Region Farmers Market this weekend. I decided it was these that I would buy with my last $1.50, and I’ve certainly made the most of them. It’s so lovely to have a bowl of cherries on the table to snack on. But this recipe was simply superb. In the same way many people say older fruit makes the best jam, I think this sauce was even lovelier for having used the end of the cherries on their last legs. I saved some plump ones for the garnish though. The cherries compliment the duck perfectly and the colour the sauce takes on is quite lovely. I served this with chestnut mushrooms, sautéed in a little butter; and sautéed kale. I would highly recommend these accompaniments. I firmly believe mushrooms and duck are perfectly matched, and chestnut mushrooms have a relatively strong, nutty flavour that works perfectly here. I picked mine up at market from Li Sun Exotic Mushrooms. Then the earthiness of the kale provides the perfect greenery to the plate.
|2||duck confit legs|
|1||splash||cherry port (optional)|
|4-6||cherries, additional for garnish|
|1||cup||chestnut mushrooms (optional)|
|1||teaspoon||olive oil (optional)|
Preheat the oven to 220oC. Place the confit bottom side up on a lined baking tray and roast for 15-20 minutes, before turning the legs over. Return the duck to the oven to crisp for another 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the sauce, wash the cherries, remove the stalks and roughly chop them. Combine the cherries and stock in a small saucepan and simmer on a low heat for about 30 minutes or till the liquid has reduced by three quarters. Strain the sauce, pressing the cherry flesh through a fine sieve, back into a clean saucepan. Discard the seeds and skins. Dissolve the corn flour in a little of the liquid, before tipping it into the pan with the cherry port. Return the sauce to the heat to thicken.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and fry the mushrooms over medium heat for about five minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a medium sized frying pan and sauté the kale till the stems are cooked through and the leaves are slightly wilted.
Dish up the kale, mushrooms and duck. Divide the sauce between the two plates and garnish with fresh cherries.