TC Recipe: Seared Duck Breast with Cherry Syrah Sauce, Sicilian Salsa & Soft Polenta

August 13 2007

By James Orr
Suggested Pairing: 2005 NxNW Columbia Valley Syrah
Serves 4

Seared Duck Breast with Cherry Syrah Sauce, Sicilian Salsa & Soft Polenta


2 Large Duck Breasts
½ cup of NxNW Syrah
½ cup balsamic vinegar
12 cherries
1 T Roasted Garlic puree
1/3 cup of crème fraiche
Salt and pepper
2 roma tomatoes diced
3 T pinenuts
¼ c chopped Nicoise olives
1 T chopped Fennel Fronds
1 Shallot diced
1 ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper


Score the skin of your duck, making sure not to cut so deep that you cut the meat.
Heat pan on medium high heat, and add the duck breast skin side down with a little bit of oil. Cook the duck breast on the skin side for 70% of the cooking time so ensure crisp skin and for the fat to render. Turn down the heat if necessary. Flip the duck over briefly searing the other side for a couple of minutes. The result will be a nice medium rare. If one desires more medium temperature on the duck breast, finish cooking it in a 400 degree oven for 4-5 minutes. Allow the the duck to rest before slicing each breast in two

Place syrah, cherries, and vinegar into non-reactive sauce pan over high heat. Allow liquid to reduce by half. This process goes by quickly. Add the rest of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

Place all the ingredients in small bow and toss gently

Soft Polenta:
Fine Corn meal
Minced garlic
Olive oil
Heavy Cream
Grated Asiago Cheese
Salt and pepper

Use twice the amount of cold water to the fine corn meal to make the soft polenta.
Seasoning the water is crucial. Add the garlic, butter, oil, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the corn meal to the boiling water in a stream whisking continuously. Cover with a butter parchement paper and cook for 40 mins on a low flame. After that cooking time, add the cheese and some cream and it should be like a soft porride.