Duck With Cherries, Spinach and Pine Nuts

“DH and I enjoyed this way of preparing duck last night. It is from the December 2010 issue of Bon Appetit and is credited to the restaurant, Fornino, in Park Slope, Brooklyn. We used two duck breasts and halved the spice blends, but made the full amount of sauce. We served with mashed potatoes and asparagus. We found we had to cook our duck a little longer than the indicated time.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. For the Sauce: Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions; saute until tender and beginning to turn golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Add dried cherries, wine, and vinegar; boil 30 seconds. Add chicken broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until sauce is reduced to 2/3 cup, 4 to 5 minutes. (Do ahead: can be made one day ahead. Cool slightly, cover, and chill).
  2. For the Duck: Finely grind fennel seeds and aniseed in spice mill; transfer to bowl. Whisk in pepper and next 3 ingredients.
  3. Using sharp knife, score duck skin diagonally to create 3/4 inch diamond pattern (do not cut into meat). Sprinkle both sides of duck with fine sea salt and spice mixture.
  4. Heat heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add duck, skin side down, to skillet. Cook until skin is browned and crisp and fat is rendered, about 7 minutes. Spoon off some of the fat from pan. Turn duck over; cook until browned and cooked to desired doneness, about 3 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer to plate; tent with foil.
  5. Meanwhile, rewarm sauce. Whisk in 3 Tb butter. Season sauce with salt and pepper.
  6. Melt 1 Tb butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add spinach and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  7. Slice duck breasts. Divide spinach among plates. Place 1 sliced duck breast atop spinach on each plate. Spoon sauce over; sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

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