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Duck with Blackberry-Port Sauce and Creamy Yams
Sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the blackberries, port, sugar, cinnamon, thyme, and red pepper flakes. The amount of sugar will depend on the sweetness of the berries. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by 1/3 and the berries are tender (about 25 minutes). Remove and discard the cinnamon stick and thyme sprigs. Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender and puree until smooth (about 35 seconds). Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small, clean saucepan and set aside.
Prepare the grill, either using a charcoal grill using hardwood charcoal such as mesquite or hickory or using a gas grill and smoking chips that have been soaked in water for 1 hour. Wrap the drained wood chips in aluminum foil and puncture the foil in several places to allow the smoke to escape. Place the foil on the burner and allow the grill to heat up.
Yams: Bring a large saucepan 3/4 full of water to a boil. Add the yams and cook until tender (3 to 4 minutes). Drain, rinse under cold running water, and drain again.
Duck Breasts: Rub the duck breasts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. When the grill is hot (if using charcoal, coals should be burned down to a gray ash), place duck breasts on the grill, skin side down. Grill, turning once, to desired doneness (cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium-rare). Transfer to a warmed platter.
Re-heat blackberry-port sauce over low heat until it simmers; keep warm. In a large frying pan over high heat, combine the yams, cream, cheese, green onions, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cream is reduced and coats the yams (4 to 5 minutes).
To Serve: Using a sharp knife, cut the duck breasts across the grain into very thin slices. Arrange an equal number of slices on individual plates, fanning them slightly. Divide the yams among the plates and top with sauce. Garnish each serving with a cilantro sprig and serve immediately.
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