Now, then... (French Fridays with Dorie: Duck breast with fresh peaches)

Life has a way of catching you up in its arms and taking you along for the ride, doesn't it?

It's definitely been one of those weeks...

Birthdays were celebrated.

Fresh starts happened.

A loved one was lost and remembered. As much as you think you are prepared for those moments, it seems as if you are never quite as ready as you thought you were. 

For better or worse, this has been a week of food and family. 

After last week's aberrational recipe following, I am pleased to report that things are back on track at Chez Cher (well, in the kitchen at least) and the normal course of improvisation has resumed.

No thyme - heck leave it out.

No port? Sherry will do.

Drain off the duck fat? Are your out of your mind?

Don't forget to leave the duck pink in the middle. No one wants over-cooked duck breast. No one...

Saute the peaches - nope. They are as hard as bricks. Add some apricot brandy to the pan with the duck fat, cover and let them simmer. You can caramelize them after they have softened up and become more edible.

Take out the peaches and throw in some balsamic and champagne vinegars. Reduce to a thickened sauce. 

People don't like duck? (Yes, those people do exist - and yes, I have to feed them. It breaks my heart.) Grill up a couple of pork tenderloins and serve with the sauce and peaches. 

So easy. So delicious. 

Every one wins. 

In the book nook: Finished Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn - it was dark, but a good read. Currently working my way through Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I am only a few chapters in, but so far I like it. Although, as I read through the narrative, my mind hears it in Julia Robert's voice. Not sure how I feel about that...I should know better than to read a book after I have seen the movie - it gets me every time. (Mary H - Yes, Chef is now on my library wish list.)

Have a great weekend all. 

Peace out. 

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. I couldn't find an officially posted version of this recipe; however, if you Google "Duck Breast with Fresh Peaches by Dorie Greenspan", the inter-webs will lead you there.


  1. Yay for the back of improvisation! I didn't bother to try the recipe since it's a track across down to find duck. Should have done it like you did and pair of pork. Oh well.

  2. The ability to improvise is the best way to validate that we are great cooks. I'm glad that even the non-duck eaters got to taste the great sauce. I'm sorry for your loss and hope this great recipe brought a little sweetness into the difficult time.

    I stuck through the EPL book until halfway through the India chapter. I tossed it to the side and never picked it up again. I guess it wasn't my cup of tea.

  3. EPL annoyed me, even before I saw the movie, which also annoyed me. Why did I watch it, when I'd already been annoyed by the book? I wanted any glimpse of Naples. haha.

    I have to get back in gear. I keep forgetting about FFwD until it's upon me. I did sort of think about it earlier this week, when I asked my Italian friend where I could get duck. He said, "We don't eat duck here." Okay, then. That marked the end of my efforts.

    Sorry to hear about your loss.

  4. Cher this looks delicious!
    I didn't participate this week, but I'm regretting it now :)

  5. I actually like the idea of pork a lot. No fresh peaches at all this time of year here. I suddenly have a craving for a visit to the asian markets! Maybe some duck?

  6. How cool-it's duck with fresh peaches day and I'm missing it! I just love the sound of this meal-so extravagant and delicious-just the way a French Friday should be... ;)
    Very sorry for your loss Cher ;(

  7. Awesome improvisation this week Cher :) Sorry for your loss though - sending many hugs XO

  8. Family and food, for good, bad, and better times. Gotta love that. I am glad there were some fresh starts and birthdays to soften the good-bye. I am sorry about that. I think the brandy with the peaches is a great idea whether the peaches are hard or not. Your duck looks perfectly and rarely done. When you finish EPL, I think you will consider it waayyyyy better than the movie. EGilbert really has some nuggets to share. Because I am anal, I read the book twice and highlighted those. But, when the Library calls and "Yes, Chef" is available, drop everything. It is wonderful. Happy week ahead to you.

  9. Sorry to hear about your loss.
    I have yet to read and/or see EPL. For some reason, it has never captivated my attention. Maybe some day..
    Loving your improvisations ;)

  10. Pork tenderloins? Great thinking on your feet!

  11. You and I are from the same school of cooking Cher - if you don't have it, leave it out or sub. Glad you enjoyed this - I did too.

  12. No thyme. I hate them both. But yes... I will certainly make this with tenderloin. Great call.

  13. Sorry to hear about your week and loss.

    This would be amazing with pork tenderloins! Terrific substitute.

    Enjoy EPL - I thought the book was better than the movie. Have you read any Peter Mayle? His books are always enjoyable if you haven't :)

  14. Sorry to hear of your loss, Cher.
    Your duck looks delicious…sounds like you did a great job with the peaches. Pork tenderloin is a "go to" in my house…a definite favorite!

    You just reminded me to pull out my copy of Eat, Pray, Love…still haven’t read it or seen the movie!

  15. Thank you for the lovely birthday wishes. Great substitution with the
    tenderloins, I love those things. Sorry for your loss, Cher.

  16. Great job winging it, Cher. I can always count on you to give our Friday recipes a creative yet practical twist. I was one of the few people in the world that didn't like EPL (though I finished it). I am glad to see a few of the comments also didn't like it either.
    I'm sorry for your loss. Thinking of you.

  17. Cher, this looks like such an elegant meal - I love duck (and pork tenderloin) and the combination of sweet and savory in this recipe is very appealing - since we were "out of the country" for a bit, I did not get to make this dish, but there is "make-up" week this Friday, I am sure that I will get a chance to make this lovely recipe.
    Have a nice Sunday and I am very sorry to read about your loss - hope you are well!

  18. Reading books after seeing the movie is always tricky. But maybe this one will work because I thought this was a great book and a terrible movie. Then again, I read it before the hype and sometimes that helps to keep expectations in line. And I've never heard of Chef, might have to go look that up now...

  19. Gosh, for once I didn't need to make another meal for some picky family member...they all loved the duck! But I bet the sauce and peaches was excellent with pork, too :)

  20. I forgot to mention in my post that I used Sherry too... if it was up to Dorie I wouldn't be able to close my liquor cabinet. I thought it worked very well... your duck looks divine.

  21. My peaches were hard as rocks and I (stupidly!) followed the recipe. They tasted much like rocks when we ate them. I wish I had your creativity. Simmering in apricot brandy sounds delicious.


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