As planned on our trip to Long Island we purchased some lovely local spinach and duck breasts so that we could make Rachel Khoo’s Crispy Skinned Duck Breast with a Cherry Sauce and Creamy Spinach and Polenta. Every time we go to Long Island, we try to buy a fresh, local duck breast as a treat. Kim is always up for trying a new ways to cook it and this recipe will be making a repeat performance! Kim shares how it went on Sunday night:
As usual, I made half the recipe and since many of the measurements were in grams, I simply used my food scale to measure. (It’s becoming my new favorite kitchen tool – I feel so scientific!)
Since much of the cooking for the polenta and the duck happens simultaneously, I made sure I had all my ingredients ready to go, which for me makes cooking much less stressful and more enjoyable. I also means I can really keep an eye on things.
I began with the polenta and it started to look so tasty right away—even without the spinach and crème fraiche. I was already wishing I had made the whole amount so we could have it for leftovers! It came together very nicely and I was able to keep it warm by keeping in over a burner set to low while I finished up with the duck and the sauce.
For the duck, I scored the skin as suggested and then seasoned it with a special salt we bought in Paris that is infused with red wine—I figured why not since the sauce had wine in it. I used my Le Creuset Dutch oven to cook the duck, which I had used with great success before. This time was no different! Duck is fatty so I was sure to have my splatter screen at the ready. I made a slight modification here as I just didn’t want to have the stove AND the oven on for what was a bit of a hot day. I followed the directions for cooking the duck in the pan entirely as per James Paterson’s Cooking, which was really pretty much Rachel Khoo’s directions, minus the part where the duck goes in the oven.
Making the sauce was a lot of fun with all the vibrant, purple-red from the wine and the cherries. We used the Torciano Baldassarre Rosso Tuscano wine from our trip to Tuscany in the sauce and it made it incredibly rich and flavorful.
I used nice shallow bowls to be able to nestle the sliced duck into the creamy spinach and polenta and then poured on the cherry sauce. We enjoyed a special dinner in honor of our trip to Tuscany and our Long Island adventure.