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DH and I made this grilled duck breast recipe for dinner a few nights ago and enjoyed it very much. It is quite easy and since it is on the grill, it required less cleanup than usual. While we prefer the recipe I posted for seared duck with cherry port sauce, we did not have the demi-glace that the recipe calls for, so this was a nice substitution. We ended up running out of propane during grilling and had to finish the duck under the broiler. This worked fine. We served it with roasted asparagus. The recipe is from the Williams-Sonoma "Grilling" cookbook. Note: the recipe states that you can vary this recipe by pairing dried cranberries with Pinot Noir (instead of cherries with Zinfandel), dried peaches or apricots with Riesling or Gewurztraminer, dried pears with Sauvignon Blanc, or dried apples with Chardonnay.
For the spice rub
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh ground white pepper
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 4 boneless skin-on duck breast halves
For the sauce
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1⁄4 cup zinfandel (or other full-bodied dry red wine)
- 1⁄2 cup dried sweet cherries
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (dissolved in 2 Tb wine or water)
- Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over medium heat.
- To make the spice rub: in a small bowl, mix together the ginger, five-spice powder, white pepper and salt. Sprinkle generously on both sides of the duck breasts and rub into the breasts.
- To make the sauce: in a saucepan, combine the stock, wine, dried cherries, soy sauce, and corn syrup. Cook over high heat, stirring often, until reduced by about half, 7-10 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook over medium heat for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, to thicken the sauce. Set aside and keep warm.
- Place the duck breasts, skin side down, on the grill, directly over medium heat. Cover the grill and cook until the duck is well-browned on the bottom side, 7-10 minutes, checking occasionally for flare-ups and moving the duck to a cooler part of the grill if needed.
- Turn and grill for 5 minutes more.
- Check for doneness by cutting into a breast or testing with an instant-read thermometer. Duck breasts should be cooked medium rare to medium, still pink at the center, or until an instant read thermometer registers 135 to 140 degrees F. Continue to cook as needed.
- Transfer to a platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes. To serve, slice each duck breast on the diagonal and spoon the sauce over the slices.
Great recipe!! Made with Pinot Noir instead of Zin. The sweetness of the cherries makes the flavor pop!