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Duck Breast with Cherry Chutney

A dish from President Barack Obama's inauguration lunch.

Yield: Serves 10


  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 small)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Scant 1/4 tsp. dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped red bell pepper (1/2 medium)
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 can bing cherries, quartered, (3 cups), Oregon brand suggested
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 10 (6 ounce) boneless duck breasts with skin
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon or chives


Glaze and Chutney

  1. Heat oil in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add onion, garlic, and shallot, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 7 minutes. Add tomato paste, black pepper, cumin, hot pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium and add bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

  2. Stir in wine, vinegar (to taste), sugar and simmer approx. 5 minutes. Stir in mustard, 1 1/2 cups cherries, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer 1 minute. Allow to cool slightly and reserve all but 1/4 cup of the mix to the side.

  3. Place 1/4 cup mix in a blender and puree until very smooth, about 1 minute (use caution when blending hot liquids). Reserve for glazing duck.

  4. To finish the chutney, add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cherries, tarragon, chives and all the golden raisins. Can be prepared 1 day ahead.

Cooking the Duck

  1. Preheat oven to 450° F and place rack in the middle of the oven.

  2. Score duck skin in a crosshatch pattern with a small sharp knife and season duck all over with salt and pepper. Heat water in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet over low heat until hot. Add duck, skin side down and cook, uncovered, over low heat without turning, until most of fat is rendered (melted) and skin is golden brown, about 25 minutes.

  3. Transfer duck to a plate and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet. Brush duck all over with cherry glaze and return to skillet, skin side up. Roast duck in oven until thermometer registers 135° F, about 8 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Holding a sharp knife at a 45-degree angle, cut duck into slices. Serve with cherry chutney and molasses whipped sweet potato.

Source: Today Show

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