Pan Seared Duck Breast with Five Spice, Port & Sour Cherry Compote

Serves 2

2 boneless duck breast halves, skin on
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 cup port wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons sour cherry preserves

Score the skin side of the duck breasts in a cross hatch pattern with a sharp knife. Season both sides of the duck breasts with salt and pepper, then with Chinese five powder, coat evenly. Cover and marinate 30 minutes at room temperature.

Place a cast iron skillet over a medium-high heat, when hot, place the duck breasts in the pan skin side down. Cook until the skin in brown and crispy, about 7-10 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary to prevent the duck from browning too quickly. Turn, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until medium rare, about 125 degrees on instant read thermometer.

Remove the duck from pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes on a warm plate while you prepare the sauce.

Drain the fat from the pan. Return the pan to a medium-high heat, when hot add the port wine to the pan, deglaze and reduce to about 1/2 cup. Remove from the heat, whisk in the butter, season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside to keep warm.

To serve, slice each duck breast on the diagonal and place on a serving plate along with some of the pan sauce, add a tablespoon of the sour cherry compote.

COOK'S NOTES: Look for fresh or frozen packaged duck in your larger supermarkets. Pick up or order a jar of tart cherry jam or preserves to finish and enhance the pan sauce.