D'Artagnan Moulard Magret Duck Breast with Luxardo Maraschino Cherries and Tawny Port Wine Sauce is one of the most luxurious recipes you can make for a special dinner. It is very easy to sear the duck breasts and make a quick sauce in the same pan. The key is using the best duck breast, maraschino cherries and tawny port wine available to home cooks.
Without a doubt D'Artagnan has the best duck. Fresh Moulard Magret Duck Breasts are known for their rich flavor and dark red meat, and a favorite of 5-star restaurants. You can order these online at D'Artagnan for a decent price of approximately $15 per breast. The restaurant will charge $45 for the same meat. I keep a few in the freezer for last-minute special meals. Look for the many sales offered by D'Artagnan.com and stock up.
The Original Luxardo Maraschino Cherries are dark, dense and chewy with a sweet-tart flavor. These maraschino cherries are made in Luxardo, Italy with prized sour marasca cherries preserved in the fruit's famed liqueur. They are very delicious and unique. They are also pricey but a worthy companion with the exceptional Moulard Duck Breast. You only need a half jar for the recipe. Save the rest for an amazing Manhattan Cocktail or over Vanilla Gelato. You can buy Luxardo Cherries online at Amazon for around $23. If you do not have Luxardo, please do not use the bright red Maraschino Cherries that are more common. Instead use a good dark cherry preserve or canned dark cherries.
For this recipe I used a good port blend that we had in our liquor cabinet. I don't think an expensive Port Wine is needed. Instead look for one with a good Tawny flavor. A Ruby Red Port would also work but I like the flavor profile of Tawney Port. You only need one ounce so use what you have at home.
Save the duck fat another recipe such as fried potatoes or Duck Fat Fries!
Luxurious Duck Breast with Cherries and Port Sauce
- 2 approx. 14 ounces each D’Artagnan Moulard Magret Duck Breasts
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper fresh ground
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon red onion minced
- 1 ounce Tawny Port wine
- 7 ounces ½ jar Luxardo Maraschino Cherries
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- Remove the duck breasts from the packaging, rinse and pat dry. Season the breasts with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Score the fat side with a sharp knife into a diamond pattern, careful not to cut into the meat.
- Place the breasts, fat side down, in a cold skillet on the stove top. Do not use a non-stick pan for correct caramelization. Turn the heat to medium and allow the fat to render out. Continue cooking over a medium-low/medium heat until the fat is caramel color and crispy, about 10 -15 minutes. Do not touch while cooking. Turn once, and cook the other side for about 3 - 6 minutes or until a digital thermometer registers 135 degrees for medium rare. Remove from pan and place on a wooden board to rest.
- Drain the duck fat into a glass jar and save for another recipe.
- Return the pan to the stovetop and add butter and onion. Cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent.
- Turn off the heat and add the Port wine to deglaze the pan. Scrape up the brown bits and stir until the butter and port create a sauce.
- Stir in the Luxardo Cherries with their syrup to combine. Add one sprig of thyme. Simmer over medium heat until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Slice the duck breasts and plate. Garnish with thyme. Top with the hot Cherry & Port Sauce.
- Serve more sauce on the side.