Wash and dry duck breasts, score fat side of breasts, diagonally into diamonds, barely through to the meat.
Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Place in a ziplock plastic bag, add buttermilk, sage and balsamic vinegar.
Squeeze air out of bag and seal.
Massage bag to distribute marinade around duck breasts.
The stuffing can be made ahead and reheated when needed.
I reheated it in the microwave.
Remove duck breasts from marinade and set aside, reserving 1/4 cup marinade, discard the rest.
Heat olive oil in large nonstick frypan.
Add shallots, red pepper and garlic, sauté for 2 minutes.
Add brown basmati rice and salt; stir to coat, cook for 2 minutes.
Add wine and deglaze pan, add chicken stock and reserved marinade.
Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 45 minutes, no peeking or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed; set aside.
Heat butter and olive oil in a large nonstick frypan.
Dry excess marinade off breasts.
Place marinated duck breasts skin/fat side down; on medium high heat, brown until skin/fat is well browned, about 20 minutes, turn and cook to rare or medium rare, about 10 minutes.
Remove to a platter and keep warm.
Drain fat from frypan, add the wine and deglaze the pan, slowly add the buttermilk, while stirring, add the balsamic vinegar.
Add the sour cherries, bring to boil, on medium high heat simmer until reduced and thickened by about half, about 15 minutes.
To Plate & Garnish:.
Reheat stuffing if necessary.
Place 1/2 cup stuffing in the centre of each of two plates.
Slice duck breasts into about 4 slices and place attractively against stuffing, skin side up, on each plate.
Drizzle the sour cherry reduction over and around the stuffing and duck breasts, including some of the cherries.
Sprinkle half of the toasted almonds over all on each plate and garnish each plate with half the sage leaf strips.
Serve at once.
(To reconstitute dried cherries if using, place in 2 cups water and bring to boil, simmer until cherries plump up, drain and use as fresh).