4 boneless duck breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large or 2 small shallots, minced
1/4 cup ruby port wine
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, plus 1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup pitted frozen black cherries, thawed and roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Score the skin of the duck breast with a knife in 2 directions, crossing over each other (makes a crosshatch). Season both sides of each duck breast with salt and pepper.
In a large nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat, place the duck breasts skin side down. Sear the breasts until the skin is golden brown about 10 minutes, flip and sear the other side for just 3 minutes. Place the seared duck breasts in a baking dish skin side up, and put them in oven. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove the duck breasts from the oven and allow them to rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour off most excess fat from skillet, and place it back on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until translucent. Pour in the port wine and orange juice, and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the orange zest and chopped cherries and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes to reduce the mixture and thicken, mashing the cherries with the back of a wooden spoon to extract flavor as they cook.
Slice the breasts into 1/4-inch slices on a diagonal. Pour the cherry port sauce over the top and enjoy!
Cook's Note: excess duck fat can be refrigerated and is great for cooking potatoes or eggs.
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