|Meat Course : Pan Seered Duck Breasts in a Cherry Port Sauce
Wine Suggestion : Burgundy, Barbaresco, Oregon or Russian River Pinot Noir
The fourth course in a formal dinner is the meat course or entree, and its place in the meal is very different in Europe and America. In French cuisine entree literally means entry. It is a smaller savoury course that precedes the main course, typically a roast. In North America however, an entree is the main course.
Some tips about choosing duck. Duck meat is high in fat, so don't indulge in it too often. Cooking duck should not be intimidating. Look for packages that are cool to the touch and have no tears. Always be on the safe side and select your poultry just before checking out. Once home put it straight in the refrigerator. If you are marinating the duck also do that in the refrigerator. Discard the marinade after use. If you want to use the marinade as a sauce or dip, set aside some before adding the raw food.
|2 5-to 6-ounce duck breast halves or one 12-to 16-ounce duck breast half
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot (about 1 large)
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
8 halved pitted sweet red cherries, fresh or frozen, thawed
2 tablespoons tawny Port
1 tablespoon orange blossom honey
1. Place duck breast halves between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Pound lightly to even thickness (about 1/2 to 3/4 inch). Discard plastic wrap. Using sharp knife, score skin in 3/4-inch diamond pattern (do not cut into flesh). DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.