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Blackberry five spice duck


2 boneless duck breasts (approx. 1 pound each)
Salt and pepper according to taste
2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, smashed or minced
1 shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
6 ounces of Sun Belle Blackberries
1/2 cup rich chicken broth


Duck Breasts:
With a sharp knife separate each duck breast into two lobes and trim any excess fat sticking out between the skin and the meat. Score the skin side of each piece diagonally, cutting through the fat but not into the meat.

Mix the five-spice powder, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper together and rub it evenly over both sides of each of piece of duck. If this step is done in advance, wrap duck in plastic and refrigerate for no more than overnight. Otherwise let duck pieces marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Bring a cast iron pan to medium heat. Lay duck pieces skin-side down. Let sizzle gently for 7 minutes until skin is crisp and golden, adjusting heat as necessary to keep it from getting too dark too quickly. Turn pieces over and cook 3 to 5 minutes more. An instant-read thermometer should register 125 degrees for medium rare.

Remove from pan and let rest for 10 minutes on a warm plate. Use pan with rendered duck fat to make sauce

Blackberry Sauce:
Over medium heat, soften shallots in duck fat (approx. 2 to 3 minutes).

Add sherry vinegar, brown sugar and half the blackberries, stirring until sugar is dissolved and berries have released their juice.

Add chicken broth, increase heat and simmer rapidly until liquid is reduced by half and a bit syrupy.

If plating for four, slice one piece of duck thinly across the grain on a diagonal and arrange on a plate. Spoon blackberry sauce over the slices and garnish with remaining blackberries. If using a serving dish, fan the slices of duck, drizzle blackberry sauce over them and garnish with blackberries.

Tip: Serve with risotto, wild rice or rosti potatoes and light green salad for a memorable repast.