In Poland, the sort of plums that you use to make sauces or jams are called s´liwki we˛gierki, which are deep purple damsons, but you can use any ripe purple plums. When they are in season I sometimes use English Victoria plums. You can also make this sauce with cherries and it goes equally well with duck or roast chicken. Serve with White cabbage and carrot slaw, or any of the raw salads (surówki) in Chapter Two.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 4 duck breasts
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp vegetable oil, preferably organic
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 7 oz (200 g) plums (3 medium), stoned and chopped
- 9 fl oz 1 cup (250 ml) red wine
- 5 fl oz 2/3 cup (150 ml) chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp powidła (Polish plum butter) (optional)
- ½ tsp cornflour (cornstarch), mixed with a little water
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7.
- Score the duck breasts and season them with salt and pepper. Put the duck in a cold dry frying pan, skin-side down, and place the pan over a medium heat for 6 minutes, keeping the breasts skin-side down. Transfer the duck to a baking tray and place in the oven for 10 minutes (rare) or 15 minutes (medium). Remove the duck breasts from the oven, put them on a plate and leave to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.
- To make the sauce, heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over a low heat, add the shallot and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add the plums and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the wine, stock and honey, and powidła if using. Stir well, add the cornflour and water mix, and cook for 10 minutes. Take off the heat and either pass the sauce through a sieve or blitz in a food processor.
- Slice the duck breasts and serve with the plum sauce.