Place the duck breasts in a saucepan, skin-side down, and cook over a gentle heat until the fat runs. Add the shallots and mushrooms, then put them to one side. Drain off most of the duck fat from the pan and add most of the redcurrants, reserving a few berries to add to the sauce just before serving. Raise the heat, and cook just long enough to crisp the skin of the duck, and then turn the meat over and fry for a few minutes on the underside. Cooking will depend on the thickness of the meat and how well done you like it. Remove the duck breasts, and keep them warm while you finish the sauce. Deglaze the pan with the wine and stock, crushing the juice out of the redcurrants. Sieve the sauce into a small, clean saucepan and bring to the boil. Season to taste, and add the shallots, mushrooms and reserved redcurrants. Place the duck breasts on heated plates, and spoon on the sauce. If you want to enrich the sauce, do this by adding the chilled butter to the sauce, a piece at a time, before putting in the mushrooms. Make sure each piece of butter is absorbed into the sauce before adding the next piece. Stir the sauce, and swirl it, off the heat, to emulsify the mixture.
Use elderberries in place of redcurrants for a rich dark sauce. Blackberries, blueberries or cranberries can also be used.
© 1995 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.