DUCK BREAST WITH CHERRY SAUCE

Light some candles, pour some red wine, and enjoy this restaurant-level meal.

My husband and I are crazy about duck. We love baked duck legs or duck fillets. When you serve duck for dinner, there is always some sense of celebration and the coziness of home. Light some candles, pour some red wine, and enjoy this restaurant-level meal.

Despite the long description in this recipe, the dish is prepared quickly. It only takes half an hour. If you don’t have pears, you can serve mashed potatoes or buttered white rice as a side dish.


Duck Breast with Cherry Sauce and Pears

Recipe

Braised Cabbage and Pork Ribs
PREP TIME COOK TIME MAKES
2-3 minutes 30-40 minutes 2 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 2 duck breasts
  • 1 pear

For the sauce:

  • 150 g (5,5 oz) seedless cherries
  • 12-15 g (0,5 oz) ginger
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 allspice peppercorns
  • 1 (25 g) shallot
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp port wine (or red wine)
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp butter

INSTRUCTIONS

Duck breasts:

  1. Take the breasts out of the refrigerator ahead of time and remove the packaging. Warm to room temperature. If you can take the duck out 1 hour before cooking, do it!
  2. Pat the breasts dry on all sides with a paper towel. Cut the skin diagonally with a sharp knife. An old knife will not to cut the skin deep enough and expose the meat.

Skillet: I highly recommend using a skillet with a thick bottom. A cast-iron one is ideal.

  1. Place the breasts in a dry, cold skillet, skin side down, and fry over low heat until golden and the skin is crispy. It takes about 20 minutes. Check the skin from time to time so it doesn’t get too dark.

You need to roast the duck over low heat to melt out all the fat and make the skin thin and crispy. Meanwhile, the meat inside will cook evenly and gently become pink.

  1. Turn the duck over and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate, skin side up, and let stand for 5 minutes. Save the grease in the skillet. We will fry the pear slices in it. See the description after the sauce.

Sauce:

  1. Cut the shallot into very small cubes.
  2. Take 2 tablespoons of the fat the duck was roasted in or use regular vegetable oil.

You don’t have to wait for the duck to cook. Just take the fat out of the frying pan as soon as you have the right amount.

  1. Fry the onions until soft over low heat. The onions should not change color. It takes about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Add honey and caramelize for about 5 minutes. Pour in the vinegar and evaporate it.
  3. Add the port, cherries, ginger, 1 tablespoon of water, and spices. When the cherries are thawed (if using frozen cherries), press them down with a spoon. Cook until the cherries let off their juice.
  4. Add the butter and actively incorporate it into the sauce so that it thickens and adds luster to the sauce. Remove from the fire. Remove the cloves and allspice.

Pear:

  1. Cut the pear into slices. Fry each piece on both sides over medium heat until golden.
  2. Cut the duck lengthwise into slices. Salt and pepper each piece.
  3. Pour the sauce onto a plate. Place the duck slices and pears on top. Serve immediately.

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PORK AND CABBADGE

Comfort food that can be prepared in advance. After all, it only gets better the next day. Very popular dish in Ukraine.

Comfort food that can be prepared in advance. After all, it only gets better the next day. Very popular dish in Ukraine.


Braised Cabbage with Pork Ribs

Recipe

Braised Cabbage with Pork Ribs
Braised Cabbage and Pork Ribs
PREP TIME COOK TIME MAKES
10-15 minutes 70-80 minutes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

  • 1 kg (2,2 lbs) pork ribs
  • 1.6 kg (3,5 lbs) cabbage
  • 2 big onions
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • Juice of ½ lemon (2.5 tbsp lemon juice)
  • Vegetable oil (~7 tbsp, 100 ml)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a thick-bottomed pot or use a deep skillet. Cover and roast the ribs until dark.
  2. Cut the onion into half rings. Add to the ribs and braise over low heat for about 30 minutes until soft.
  3. Shred the cabbage. Salt and lightly knead with your hands. Add to the meat and onions. Sprinkle in the cumin. Stir the cabbage to evenly distribute the fat. Braise for 30-40 minutes. Stir occasionally. The cabbage should be cooked, but remain slightly crispy.
  4. Add sugar, lemon juice, and tomato paste. Mix well and braise for another 10 minutes.

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VIETNAMESE CHICKEN SOUP WITH NOODLES & SHIITAKE

Super flavorful, warming, and very comforting Asian chicken soup

This is a super flavorful, warming, and very comforting Asian chicken soup. This is an interpretation of Pho Ga, Vietnamese Pho soup with chicken. Here I add kaffir lime leaves and shiitake mushrooms. That’s how we get a simply stunning flavor. Or you can skip that and make a more classic version.

Vietnamese Chicken Soup with Noodles & Shiitake

Recipe

PREP TIME COOK TIME MAKES
5 minutes 150 minutes 3-4 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 1 small chicken (½ chicken or 4 chicken thighs ~500 g, 1 lbs)
  • 1 onion
  • 50 g ginger (2 oz)
  • 4 cloves of garlic

  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 sprigs of badian
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ lime
  • Fresh or dried chili peppers, any hot sauce to taste

To serve:

  • 120 g rice noodles (4,5 oz)
  • 1 head of bok choy
  • 8 large shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp cilantro leaves
  • 1 bunch of mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onions

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Slice the onion into 4 pieces and the ginger into circles. Add the vegetable oil to a saucepan and fry the vegetables until the sides are dark black.
  2. Chop the chicken into large chunks. Add the chicken to the pot, cover with 2.5 liters of cold water, and bring to a boil. Remove the foam and simmer for 30 minutes over low heat. The broth should be just below boiling.
  3. Add the garlic cloves, coriander seeds, cinnamon, badian, kaffir lime, sugar, chili, and fish sauce. Cover and cook for 1.5 hours over very low heat.
  4. Add the coarsely chopped mushrooms and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  5. At the end, salt well. Taste the broth, it should be slightly over-salted.
  6. Strain the broth through a sieve. Take the chicken off the bone. Save the shiitake.
  7. Boil the noodles as indicated on the package. Drain in a colander.
  8. Cut the bok choy into 2 pieces, rinse well, and boil for 3-4 minutes in boiling water. It should stay crispy.
  9. Put the noodles, chicken, a bok choy half, and shiitakes into bowls or soup plates. Pour in the broth. Sprinkle herbs on top. Drizzle with lime juice and serve.

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UKRAINIAN CHICKEN CUTLETS

Comfortable dish that has been prepared in almost every Ukrainian home since childhood.

This is a cozy homemade Eastern European dish that has been prepared in almost every Ukrainian home since childhood. The cutlets (or patties) differ from the usual burger patty in that they are a little softer, they are fully cooked, and even a little stewed. Onions and a little bit of bread are added.

Bread is needed to make the texture airy and soft. Some people add eggs. But that makes the ground meat liquidy and the texture stronger. The patties hold their shape perfectly without eggs, don’t worry. Patties can be made from white fish or ground beef or pork.

This is a comforting dish usually served with mashed potatoes. But many people like it with pasta or plain boiled rice. They are served with seasonal vegetables, depending on the time of year: with pickles or a salad of boiled beets in winter, or with fresh vegetables in summer. I eat these patties when I’m not feeling very well. It’s a common habit.

You can make the cutlets from chicken breast. I like to use chicken thighs. That way they get super juicy.


Ukrainian Chicken Cutlets

Recipe

PREP TIME COOK TIME MAKES
15 minutes 25 minutes 2 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 350 g (12½ oz) of chicken thigh meat, without bones and skin (or use ground chicken)
  • 1 small onion (40 g, 1½ oz)
  • 1 slice of white bread (35 g, 1 oz white bread crumbs)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 50 ml cream or milk
  • 50 ml water
  • ½ tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pour the cream and water over the bread and let stand for 5 minutes. Squeeze the moisture out completely. Dice the onion.
  2. Prepare ground chicken meat. Cut the thighs into medium sized pieces (to make it easier for the processor), put the chicken meat in the bowl a of the processor, add the bread, onion, salt, and pepper. Grind it up. Leave some texture, don’t grind it too finely. You can use a meat grinder or just finely dice the chicken with a sharp knife.
  3. With wet hands, form 7 patties. Each one should be about 80 grams (~3 oz). You can make the patties smaller or larger, as you prefer. When you form a patty, toss it from palm to palm, as if pounding it.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet. Reduce the heat to medium. Place the patties in the skillet and cover. Fry for 5-7 minutes until golden brown and flip over. Reduce the heat and add the butter. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Turn the patties over again and add 3 tbsp of water. Cover and braise for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and allow the liquid to reduce. The water should boil off almost completely, forming a glaze with the butter and meat juices. Cook for another 5 minutes on each side to allow the glaze to coat the patties.

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What to Cook This Week?

BEET SALAD WITH GOAT CHEESE, ARUGULA AND BLUEBERRIES

A light salad, the best partner for a dry red wine

A light spicy salad, the best partner for a dry red wine.


Beet, Arugula, Goat Cheese and Blueberries Salad

Recipe

PREP TIME COOK TIME MAKES
5 minutes 10 minutes 2 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 300 g (10 oz) cooked beets (boiled or baked)
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) soft goat cheese
  • 30 g (1 oz) walnuts
  • 30 g (1 oz) cashews
  • 70 g (2.5 oz) blueberries
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1.5 tbsp honey
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp non-spicy mustard

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Coarsely chop the walnuts. In a dry skillet, toast the cashews along with the walnuts.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl. Add a couple pinches of salt.
  3. Peel and slice the beets. Put them in a bowl with the dressing and stir it. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Layer the beets, cheese slices, arugula, and blueberries. Sprinkle with nuts. Serve.

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SPINACH LEMON RICOTTA PASTA 

Bright, creamy, and very simple.

How does it taste? Bright, creamy, and very simple. Choose a delicious ricotta for this recipe. The taste of the finished dish really depends on it.

What to drink? A red light wine like Pinot Noir or a white wine would be great.

What else can you add to your pasta? Shrimp, cherry tomatoes, basil and parsley are great.

Remember, ricotta has a slightly grainy texture. You have to love it to make this recipe.

I love the sourness the capers add. So, if you decide to skip this ingredient, taste the sauce before mixing it with the pasta. You may need more lemon juice.


Spinach Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Recipe

PREP TIME COOK TIME MAKES
5 minutes 25-30 minutes 2 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 180 g (6.5 oz) bucatini or other pasta
  • 220 g (8 oz) ricotta
  • 35 g (5.5 tbsp) grated parmesan
  • 250 g (9 oz) spinach leaves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 15 g (1 tbsp) butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Sort the spinach. Thoroughly rinse off any dirt and sand. Cut off the thick stems.
  1. Finely dice the garlic with a knife. Put the butter and garlic in a deep, cold skillet. Turn on minimum heat. When the butter is melted, toast the garlic, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. The garlic should not change color.
  1. Pour in 2 tablespoons of water and add the spinach leaves. Cover with the lid. When the spinach starts to wilt from the bottom, remove the lid and stir it. Cook uncovered until bright green. Add salt.
  1. In a large bowl, mash the ricotta with a fork. Mix with parmesan, olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Salt and pepper it. Try it, it should be delicious.
  1. Boil the pasta as directed on the package. Save some water. Lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet.
  2. Mix the spinach with the ricotta.
  1. Add the pasta and capers. Stir and pour in some of the water in which the pasta was cooked. Start with 1 tablespoon. I needed 5 tablespoons. The paste should be slick.
  2. Arrange the pasta on plates, sprinkle with pine nuts, serve immediately.

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CHICKEN IN LEMON-HONEY MARINADE WITH ROSEMARY, MUSTARD, PEPPER AND GARLIC

A sour-sweet, slightly mustardy viscous sauce. It has all the fullness of flavor.

I definitely love this chicken. Poussin with lemon, honey, garlic, rosemary, and mustard.

How does it taste? Spicy. A sour-sweet, slightly mustardy viscous sauce. It has all the fullness of flavor. You will definitely like it.

What part of the chicken to use? I just love frozen little French poussins. But you can use chicken thighs, legs, wings, or fillets with skin. Or just use a large chicken and chop it up into pieces.

What to eat with the chicken? What’s the garnish? You can add sliced yams or any vegetables right into the baking dish. For example, sweet peppers, zucchini, or fennel. Remember that potatoes, carrots, broccoli, or cauliflower need to be boiled until semi-cooked before adding to the baking dish. Chicken in a lemon-honey marinade is perfect with plain boiled rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes.

Mustard. If you have a few types of mustard, add different ones to the marinade. Mix in grainy and creamy mustards. Or spicy and sweet.


Chicken in Honey-Lemon Marinade with Rosemary, Mustard, Pepper and Garlic

Recipe

PREP TIME COOK TIME MAKES
65 minutes 40-50 minutes 2 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 600 g (1.3 lb) chicken (thighs, legs, or wings)

Marinade:

  • 1.5 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 3 pinches of dried garlic
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp grainy mustard
  • ½ tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Chop the chicken into equally-sized pieces.
  2. Remove the zest from a lemon with a special knife or a fine grater. Squeeze out the juice. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade, add rosemary leaves.
  1. Add the chunks of chicken and mix thoroughly. So that the marinade evenly coats the chicken. This can be done right in the baking dish. Occasionally go back and stir the chicken in the marinade. Leave it on the table for at least 1 hour.
  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C. Place the chicken in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces every 10-15 minutes to keep them from drying out.

Cooking time depends on the size of your chicken pieces. If you’re not sure if it’s ready, take out 1 piece of dark meat and cut it in the thickest place near the bone.


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What to Cook This Week?

MANGO AVOCADO SALSA

A combination of ripe and juicy mango with creamy avocado, cilantro, onion, and chili.

How does it taste? So light and flavorful. A combination of ripe and juicy mango with creamy avocado, cilantro, onion, and chili. I very love this salsa.

What to serve it with? I like to eat it with shrimp or chicken and rice.

You can put together a full-bodied, delicious bowl with it. Boil basmati rice, round sticky rice, or Japanese rice. Prepare grilled shrimp or pan-fried peeled shrimp and serve with this salsa. You can also fry or roast white fish fillets or calamari.

I make this salsa with Sweet Chili Sauce. I have this naturally spicy sweet sauce without tomatoes or starch, and I add a whole tablespoon of it because I like it spicier. You can use your favorite hot sauce to taste, or finely chop fresh chili, or just add a pinch of ground chili. If you don’t like spicy, don’t add anything.

How to make Mango Avocado Salsa?


Mango Avocado Salsa

Recipe

Mango Avocado Salsa
Mango Avocado Salsa
PREP TIME COOK TIME MAKES
3-5 minutes 5-7 minutes 2-3 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • ½ ((200 g pulp) mango
  • 1 (220 g with pit) large or 2 small avocados
  • 2 (25 g) shallots
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce or any spicy sauce (see the options above)
  • ¼ lemon or ⅔ tbsp juice
  • 1 pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Slice the mango and avocado into small cubes. Finely dice the onion and cilantro.
  1. Mix all the ingredients, add hot sauce, salt, and lemon juice. Stir and serve immediately.


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CHICKEN IN HONEY-LEMON MARINADE WITH ROSEMARY, MUSTARD, PEPPER AND GARLIC

Spicy. A sour-sweet, slightly mustardy viscous sauce. It has all the fullness of flavor.

How does it taste? Spicy. A sour-sweet, slightly mustardy viscous sauce. It has all the fullness of flavor. You will definitely like it. I definitely love this chicken.

What part of the chicken to use? I just love frozen little French poussins. But you can use chicken thighs, legs, wings, or fillets with skin. Or just use a large chicken and chop it up into pieces.

Mustard. If you have a few types of mustard, add different ones to the marinade. Mix in grainy and creamy mustards. Or spicy and sweet.

What to eat with the Honey Lemon Chicken? What’s the garnish? You can add sliced sweet potatoes or any vegetables right into the baking dish. For example, sweet peppers, zucchini, or fennel. Remember that potatoes, carrots, broccoli, or cauliflower need to be boiled until semi-cooked before adding to the baking dish. Chicken in a lemon-honey marinade is perfect with plain boiled rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes.


Chicken in Honey-Lemon Marinade with Rosemary, Mustard, Pepper and Garlic

Recipe

PREP TIME COOK TIME MAKES
65 minutes 45 minutes 2 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 1 small (~600 g, 1.3 lb) chicken or thighs, legs, or wings

Marinade:

  • 1.5 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 3 pinches of dried garlic
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp grainy mustard
  • ½ tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Chop the chicken into equally-sized pieces.
  2. Remove the zest from a lemon with a special knife or a fine grater. Squeeze out the juice. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade, add rosemary leaves.
  3. Add the chunks of chicken and mix thoroughly. So that the marinade evenly coats the chicken. This can be done right in the baking dish. Occasionally go back and stir the chicken in the marinade. Leave it on the table for at least 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 230°C / 450°F. Place the chicken in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces every 10-15 minutes to keep them from drying out.

Cooking time depends on the size of your chicken pieces. If you’re not sure if it’s ready, take out 1 piece of dark meat and cut it in the thickest place near the bone.


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DUCK LEGS IN BLACK BEAN GARLIC SAUCE WITH ORANGES AND HONEY

Oven-roasted, flavorful Chinese-style legs.

Another very successful and simple recipe for my favorite baked duck legs. You get oven-roasted, flavorful Chinese-style legs.

If this is your first time on my blog, be sure to try this recipe for Baked Duck Legs with Potatoes, Apples and Tangerines – it’s everyone’s favorite.

So, Chinese-style baked duck legs in black bean sauce with oranges and honey.

How does it taste? For the marinade, we add honey, oranges, and a mixture of 5 spices. You get an aromatic, spicy Chinese-style flavor. The 5-spice blend, which contains cinnamon, cloves, and anise along with citrus notes, turns into a charming New Year’s Eve fragrance.

The black bean sauce is simultaneously sweet, salty, and tangy. It’s made from fermented beans and includes garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. It all goes great with duck. And look at that brown reddish color. It’s very beautiful.

Not only can you coat roasted duck legs with this marinade, you can even cook the whole duck.

Garnish: You can use more than just carrots and broccoli as a garnish. It’s great with yams, apples, onion slices, and, of course, you can bake duck legs with potatoes.

So, how do you cook these duck legs in the oven?


Duck Legs Baked in Black Bean Garlic Sauce with Oranges and Honey

Recipe

PREP TIME COOK TIME MAKES
10 minutes 2.5 hours 4 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

  • 4 duck legs
  • 3 tbsp black beans
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp Chinese mix Five-spice powder
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small orange

For garnish:

  • 300 g (11 oz) small carrots
  • 1 head of broccoli

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Take the duck legs out of the refrigerator ahead of time to warm them up to room temperature. For at least 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare the marinade. Remove the zest from the orange with a special knife or a fine grater. Squeeze out the juice. You should get about 4 tablespoons.
  3. Blend together the orange zest and juice, honey, black bean sauce, Chinese mix Five-spice powder, and vegetable oil.
  4. Brush marinade on all sides of the legs with a cooking brush. Place skin side down in a large baking dish. Place it in a cold oven. Heat the oven to 180°C / 355°F .
  5. Turn the legs over after 30 minutes. Brush with marinade. Then turn the legs every 15 minutes. Brush each time with marinade using a cooking brush. Pour 1-2 tbsp of water into the baking dish if the marinade starts to burn.

Duck legs are cooked to softness in 1.5-2 hours, depending on the duck’s age and breed or producer. Check readiness with a knife or wooden skewer. It should go in easily, and the meat should separate from the bone. For the last 15-25 minutes of cooking, bake the legs skin-side up to get browned, crispy skin.

  1. Vegetables. If your carrots are large, cut them into sticks. If they are small, leave intact.
  2. Put the carrots in boiling salted water and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli florets and cook for 2 minutes. Toss the vegetables into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  3. When the duck legs are soft, about half an hour before the end of cooking, add the vegetables to the baking dish and coat with the released fat. Place the legs skin side up and bake until the vegetables are cooked. Remember that the vegetables should remain slightly crispy.

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