Seared Duck Breast

Duck breast was intimidating to me because I had never cooked it before, and because it seemed easy to get wrong. Like so many intimidating recipes, it turned out to be so much easier than I could have ever imagined! The key is to render the fat slowly and over a lower heat than you’d normally use for meats. With this in mind, many chefs recommend abiding by the 80-20 rule, but I lean more 90-10. This means that you’ll want to cook the duck breasts 90% on the fat side and then the last 10% on the meat side. This will ensure a nice, crisp layer of rendered fat atop perfectly cooked duck breast.

Thoroughly dry the duck breasts with paper towel. In a criss-cross pattern, score all of the fat on each duck breast, trying not to slice into the meat. Liberally add salt and pepper to both sides of the meat.

Drizzle the oil onto a large, cold skillet and place the duck breasts over the oil.

Turn the stove onto medium and let the fat slowly render down. This should take about 20-25 minutes. Once the fat has rendered down and you can see that the fat underneath the breast is golden and crispy, turn the burner down to low and flip the breasts over.

My husband and I both prefer to cook our duck breasts to medium temperature (about 4 minutes), but many prefer medium-rare (about 2-3 minutes). Remove the breasts from the skillet and let them rest for 10 minutes fat side up. This is important, because if you slice into piping hot meat before it’s had time to rest, it’ll loose all of it’s juiciness and you’ll end up with a dry piece of meat that failed to live up to its potential.

Once the meat has properly rested, serve it while it’s still hot, either whole or sliced.

Seared Duck Breast

Becca Gallick-Mitchell
An incredibly tender and succulent duck breast with crispy, melt-in-your-mouth rendered fat on top.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Cuisine French
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 duck breasts
  • 2 tsp avocado oil, or other vegetable oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Thoroughly dry the duck breasts with paper towel. In a criss-cross pattern, score all of the fat on each duck breast, being very careful not to slice into the meat.
  • Liberally add salt and pepper to both sides of the breast. Drizzle the oil onto a large, cold skillet and place the duck breasts over the oil. Turn the stove onto medium and let the fat slowly render down. This should take about 20-25 minutes.
  • Once the fat has rendered down and you can see that the fat underneath the breast is golden and crispy, turn the burner down to low and flip the breasts over. We prefer to cook our duck breasts to a medium temperature (about 4 minutes), but many prefer medium-rare (about 2-3 minutes).
  • Remove from the skillet and let rest for 10 minutes fat side up. Serve whole or sliced.
Keyword Duck, Duck breast, French food, French fries, Pomegranate, Pomegranate reduction, Seared duck breast, thyme

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