- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion, (1 small)
- 3 each garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, (a scant 1/4 teaspoon)
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, coarsely chopped (1/2 medium)
- 1 each plum tomato, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 cups Bing cherries, quartered, (1 can)
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 10 each boneless duck breasts with skin, 6 oz.
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped, (may use chives instead)
Heat oil in a 2 to 3 quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook onion, garlic, and shallot, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 7 minutes. Add tomato paste, black pepper, cumin, hot pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium and add bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in wine, vinegar (to taste), and sugar and simmer approx 5 minutes. Stir in mustard, 1 1/2 cups cherries, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer 1 minute. Allow to cool slightly and reserve all but ¼ cup of the mix to the side. Place1/4 cup mix in a blender and puree until very smooth, about 1 minute (use caution when blending hot liquids). Reserve for glazing duck. To finish the chutney, add the remaining 1 ½ cups of cherries, tarragon, chives and all the golden raisins. Can be prepared one day ahead.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Score duck skin in a crosshatch pattern with a small sharp knife and season duck all over with salt and pepper.
Heat water in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet over low heat until hot, then add duck, skin side down. Cook duck, uncovered, over low heat, without turning, until most of fat is rendered(melted) and skin is golden brown, about 25 minutes.
Transfer duck to a plate and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet. Brush duck all over with cherry glaze and return to skillet, skin side up.
Roast duck in oven until thermometer registers 135°F, about 8 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Holding a sharp knife at a 45-degree angle, cut duck into slices. Serve with cherry chutney and molasses whipped sweet potato.