Duck breast has always been one of those foods that I adore in restaurants but have been insanely intimidated to cook. Not so for my dad. Oh, he enjoys it in restaurants all right (but not nearly as much as my mom, who I’m pretty sure has sampled duck at every restaurant that’s served it when she was there since 1980), but he’s not intimidated to cook it. In fact, he figured out the recipe for duck breast that is still one of the top preparations any of us has ever had. It comes from Alexander’s, a restaurant in Roanoke, VA, and this is my dad’s version of it. It is ridiculously wonderful.
2 duck breasts
1/2 c aged balsamic vinegar, separated
1/4 c low-sodium chicken broth (Swanson’s is the best if you don’t have homemade)
4 oz black cherry fruit spread, sweetened only with fruit and fruit juice (I recommend Polaner)
Pour chicken broth and most of the vinegar into a saucepan over med-low heat. Add fruit spread and reduce for about half an hour, or until it’s reduced by about 2/3. When duck is sliced, add the extra juices to your sauce.
Heat your grill to medium heat and put the breasts on skin side up. Cook most of the way through, then flip for about a minute to get the skin crispy. You want most of the fat to have cooked off by this point, or you’ll get crazy flames. Either way, there’ll be some flare-up, but it should be controlled. If the flames get too high, flip it back over and finish cooking that way.