Recipes from An Epicurious Lifestyle's kitchen

Tag: Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic and Fig Vinaigrette

Balsamic and Fig Vinaigrette

The Vinaigrette Formula If you remember nothing else about vinaigrettes, remember this: the magic ratio of oil to vinegar is 3 to 1. As long as you know that, you won’t need to consult a vinaigrette recipe ever again. Just remember three parts oil to […]

Short Ribs Wrapped in Fig Leaves with Mission Fig Black Mole

Short Ribs Wrapped in Fig Leaves with Mission Fig Black Mole

Short Ribs Wrapped in Fig Leaves with Mission Fig Black Mole This recipe comes from: Sunset Magazine MARCH 2012 Javier Plascencia, of Misión 19 (and nine other restaurants) in Tijuana, is a leading force in the style of Mexican cooking called Baja Mediterranean. It combines Mexican cuisine […]

Duck Breasts with Fresh Cherry Sauce and Grilled Apricots

Duck Breasts with Fresh Cherry Sauce and Grilled Apricots

Peter loves duck! So I decided to be a nice wife and make him one of his favorites! I found the Pekin duck breasts at Whole Foods. And since I still had an over abundance of cherries…I made this recipe from my 2006 Food & Wine Annual Cookbook. Make extra grilled apricots because, if you’re like me you will end up eating half of them before they even reach the plate! I had gotten my apricots at the Cabrillo College Farmer’s Market last Saturday morning. The apricots were from Pulido Farms. ~Yum!

This recipe would also be outstanding with swordfish too. Any of the different components of this would be good on their own. So in the future…you may see some of them re-created into another recipe.

Duck Breasts with Fresh Cherry Sauce and Grilled Apricots

Yield: 4 servings     Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes


3 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped thyme

1 tablespoon minced garlic

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Four 6-ounce apricots, halved and pitted (I use dried)

1 cup apple juice or cider vinegar (I used balsamic)

½ cup red wine vinegar

Pinch of sugar

½ pound sweet cherries, pitted (2 cups)

1 tablespoon minced shallots

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 large fennel bulb, cored and very thinly sliced

Four 6-ounce boneless Pekin duck breasts, skin scored in crosshatch pattern

½ cup small arugula leaves

2 tablespoons minced chives


  1. In a shallow dish, combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with 1 tablespoon of the thyme and the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Add the apricot halves and toss to coat. Let stand for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine the apple juice, red wine vinegar, and sugar and boil over moderate high heat until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Add the cherries and boil until tender, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the cherries to a bowl. Add the shallots to the pan and boil over high heat until the liquid has reduced to ½ cup, about 4 minutes. Return the cherries to the saucepan. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon of thyme and season with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm.
  3. Light a grill or you can pan fry these like I did. In a medium bowl, mix the remaining 1 ½ tablespoon of olive oil with the lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Add the fennel and toss well.
  4. Grill or sauté the apricots over moderate high heat until they are lightly charred and tender, about 3 minutes per sides. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
  5. Heat a large ovenproof skillet. Season the duck breasts generously with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat until some of the fat has been rendered, about 3 minutes. Transfer the skillet the oven and roast the duck breasts for about 3 minutes. Turn the breasts and roast about 3 minutes longer, until medium rare. Transfer the duck breasts to a carving board to rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Toss the arugula and chives with the fennel salad and arrange on 4 plates. Slice the duck breasts crosswise ¼ inch thick; arrange the slices on plates top with the cherry sauce. Garnish with the grilled apricots and serve.

Peter’s and Food & Wine Cookbook‘s pick: Earthy, medium-bodied Tempranillo

~Happy Cooking!